Thousands of people have gathered in the centre of Athens this afternoon to protest against the agreement on the new name of Macedonia. The Greek parliament must soon confirm the name Northern Macedonia.
The demonstration was called up by a “struggle committee for the Greeks of Macedonia”. Hundreds of organizers from all over the country, especially from northern Greece, arrived in the centre of Athens with thousands of demonstrators.
Most of the demonstrators wore Greek flags, which gave a sea of blue and white on Syntagma Square in front of the parliament. “Referendum on (the name of) Macedonia” was on a big banner. Among the demonstrators were some orthodox groups. The police were on the spot with almost 2,000 troops, drones and helicopters. The city centre was closed to traffic and the metro stations at Syntagma were closed.
Policemen are already using the baton and pepper spray to prevent a group of right-wing extremists from penetrating into the courtyard of parliament. The demonstrators chanted slogans as “politicians – traitors”. They threw stones and firecrackers at the agents. The police quickly got the situation under control.
Republic of Northern Macedonia
The agreement that Athens and Skopje concluded in June 2018 gives the small Balkan country the name Republic of Northern Macedonia. The Macedonian parliament approved the new name ten days ago, the Greek parliament will vote on it next week.
Especially in the northern Greek province of Macedonia, many inhabitants find that the name Macedonia is exclusively part of the Greek historical heritage.