Prior to today's politically-heated Euro 2012 quarter-final between Germany and Greece, newspapers from both countries have been slinging plenty of mud at each other.
German tabloid Bild, for example, previewed the game with a headline that translated to 'Bye, Greece. Today we cannot save you!' Greek paper Dimokratia, however, went far beyond the realms of appropriateness by portraying German Chancellor Angela Merkel in a Nazi uniform on its front page. It was accompanied by the headline 'Memorandum macht frei', intended to mimic the 'Arbeit macht frei' ('Work makes you free') slogan from Nazi concentration camps.
Obviously this back-and-forth is about more than a soccer game — it's also about Greece believing Germany are being too harsh by asking them to pay back all the money they have been lent — but is it rare for a European newspaper to attack the Germans with such barefaced xenophobia. Dimokratia has understandably caused plenty of outrage, with the Israeli ambassador to Germany criticizing them for "trivializing" the "worst times in the history of mankind".
Merkel attended the match in Gdansk today, and was booed and jeered by the Greek support. The German head of state is considered a 'lucky charm' by Die Mannschaft, and she certainly had the last laugh today, jumping up and down for each of the four German goals.