ATHENS, GREECE (JANUARY 20, 2019) (REUTERS) – Tens of thousands of Greeks rallied in Athens on Sunday (January 20) to protest ahead of next week’s parliamentary vote to ratify a name deal with Macedonia.
Central Athens turned into a sea of people holding blue and white Greek flags as thousands came from all over the country to rally against the accord to name the ex-Yugoslav state North Macedonia.
Protesters oppose the use of the name Macedonia by the neighbouring country and said “there is one Macedonia and it’s Greek.” Another protester blamed the government, saying it was possibly the “worst” government Greece has had since it was founded.
Clashes erupted as masked protesters hurled petrol bombs at police who fired teargas and took into custody at least one protester outside the parliament.
The issue evokes strong emotions among Greeks who consider Macedonia, the ancient kingdom ruled by Alexander the Great, to be an integral part of their homeland and heritage.
Associated LinksGeography of EuropeEuropeBalkan countriesMember states of the Organisation internationale de la FrancophonieMember states of the United NationsRepublicsSoutheastern European countriesGreeceRepublic of MacedoniaAthensMacedoniaMacedonia naming dispute