Greek authorities have imposed an 18-hour ban on protests across the center of Athens during events planned Wednesday to mark the inauguration of the nation's six-month presidency of the European Union.

The order announced by the police will take effect at 6:00 a.m. (0400GMT) Wednesday, hours before EU commissioners, led by European Commission President Jose Manuel Barroso, attend the Athens events.

Greece is hoping to emerge from a grueling, six-year recession during its presidency, and negotiate a landmark deal with bailout creditors to make its massive national debt sustainable.

A similar protest ban was imposed last year during a visit to Athens by German Finance Minister Wolfgang Schaeuble.