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Police say 10,000 expected at anti-austerity protest at European Central Bank headquarters

  • German police officers ride along the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The new premises of the ECB will be inaugurated on Wednesday, clashes between police and demonstrators are expected. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    German police officers ride along the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The new premises of the ECB will be inaugurated on Wednesday, clashes between police and demonstrators are expected. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

  • Barbed wire is fixed in front of the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The new premises of the ECB will be inaugurated on Wednesday, clashes between police and demonstrators are expected. Words read: Police Cordon.  (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    Barbed wire is fixed in front of the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The new premises of the ECB will be inaugurated on Wednesday, clashes between police and demonstrators are expected. Words read: Police Cordon. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

  • German police officers set up fences in front of the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The new premises of the ECB will be inaugurated on Wednesday, clashes between police and demonstrators are expected. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

    German police officers set up fences in front of the new headquarters of the European Central Bank in Frankfurt, Germany, Tuesday, March 17, 2015. The new premises of the ECB will be inaugurated on Wednesday, clashes between police and demonstrators are expected. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)  (The Associated Press)

German police in the city of Frankfurt are bracing for left-wing demonstrations against government austerity measures and capitalism.

The Blockupy alliance says its activists aim to blockade on Wednesday the headquarters of the European Central Bank ahead of a ceremony inaugurating the bank's new building.

Blockupy says they are protesting government austerity policies that hurt ordinary people.

The ECB helps monitor compliance with the conditions of bailout loans for financially troubled countries such as Greece. Those include spending restraint and reducing deficits, policies blamed by some for high unemployment.

Frankfurt police say most demonstrators are expected to be peaceful, but that violence-prone elements could use the crowds as cover.

The ECB says it plans to be "fully operational" despite the police barricades, although some employees may work from home.