Many have taken to the streets in Athens over name change of Macedonia feeling it’s an attack on Greek History and pride.
What Caused Macedonia Name Problem?
To many Greeks Macedonia is sacred and a source of pride for being the capital of the Greek empire.The problem began when Macedonia gained its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991 and decided to call itself the Macedonia.
But recent protests are a result of a deal agreed with left wing Prime Minister Alexander Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart that entitles the Northern neighbor of the Greece is Northern Republic of Macedonia.
Greece protested this stating that this was an attack on Greek identity as Macedonia is a prominent part of their history and it may cause confusion. Since then the Republic Of Macedonia has been Called Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and has been admitted into the UN under this name.
The two countries agreed to a deal in June last year that would change the name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Republic Of Northern Macedonia. Its citizens will be called Macedonians, and their language will be called Macedonian
Political Stance Of Greek Priminister
Alexis Tsipras, The Prime minister of Greece, has faced significant criticism over this deal. Many of his supporters are angry at him and his colleagues; Some so much that they have called them traitors.
Having survived two no-confidence votes, the Priminister is adamant to resolve this issue as soon as possible. He has now called rectification of the deal and the vote will now take place on Friday January 25.
The terms of the agreement to many are not the problem the name change is. Many ministers who voted Alexis in the no-confidence vote have received threats to influence their vote for the ratification of the deal to be held on Friday, but before that, a debate will occur which will start on Monday and end on Friday.
Greek People Outraged At the Deal
To express their outrage, people started flooding Athens from all over Greece. Protestors even included senior citizens.
One of the protesters reported to the media that there was no way for her to not protest and she didn’t want to reflect this moment and regret.
The demonstration got violent when the protesters tried to enter the Greek parliament. The police tried pushing them back but were unable to do because of the sheer numbers and resorted to firing tear gas to regain control. This further enraged the people who felt that police was acting in brutal way. Many people have been reportedly injured as a result of clash with police.
Response of Republic of Macedonia
The people of the Republic of Macedonia also took to the streets and argued that it was their right to call themselves whatever they wanted and what the Greek people are doing is nothing short of an inhuman act. They called on world powers to put an end to this problem once and for all.