FYROM Name Deal Fury Roars On, Greek President Jeered, Denounces Nazis

A protester holds a religious icon in front of a police officer during a rally in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

THESSALONIKI — About 250 nationalist protesters angry that Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos didn’t take a stand in the deal that the ruling anti-nationalist Radical Left SYRIZA made to rename the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) derided him and “traitor politicians” as some public officials left a concert hall after an International Holocaust Remembrance Day performance.

The event was in Greece’s second-largest city and major port in the Greek province of Macedonia, whose name was given away in renaming FYROM as North Macedonia despite the objections of some two-thirds of Greeks who surveys said didn’t want the deal.

The protest outside the Thessaloniki Concert Hall was timed to coincide with Pavlopoulos’ attendance at the concert. A few were seen making Nazi salutes while singing Greece’s national anthem.

Pavlopoulos is from the major rival New Democracy which opposed the agreement but the position of Greece’s Presidency is generally seen as not being partisan although the President does speak out on major issues from time to time.

Pavlopoulos was whisked from the concert venue to a side road, as far as possible from the crowd. Earlier, protesters tried to break through police lines around the building but were pushed back. Some later threw rocks at police officers and attacked a squad on motorcycles with sticks.

Police used tear gas and stun grenades to push back the small, but determined crowd. One person was arrested and four were detained, police said.

The name deal is especially sensitive in Thessaloniki, which successive FYROM governments claimed – along with the real Macedonia – before agreeing to change the country’s Constitution to remove irredentist claims, as required by the agreement.

After the country emerging from the collapse of Yugoslavia in 1991 was allowed by a New Democracy government under then-Premier Constantinos Mitsotakis in what was supposed to be a temporary acronym began making claims on Greek territories, Greece used its veto as a member of NATO and the European Union to keep FYROM out of both.

That was lifted under the agreement that also allows residents of North Macedonia to call themselves Macedonians and have a Macedonian language, culture and identity. Prime Minister and SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras got it through the Parliament with the votes of eight defectors from rival parties after his former junior coalition partner, the tiny, pro-austerity, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) who quit in objection.

Protesters chant slogans during a rally in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

During a speech after the concert, Pavlopoulos expressed horror at damage inflicted Friday at a Thessaloniki University campus monument that marks the site of a former Jewish cemetery.

He described the smashing of the monument an “inhuman, barbaric defiling” and called for Europe-wide vigilance against a resurgence of Nazism. Pavlopoulos promised a Holocaust museum in the city would be finished by 2020.

In June, during a protest of the then newly signed name deal between Greece and FYROM, a group of protesters threw paint at a Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki had a considerable Jewish community until World War II. In 1943, about 55,000 Jews were deported to extermination camps, mostly Auschwitz, and fewer than 5,000 survived.

Many of those who returned found their former homes occupied by Greek families and a state doing little to help with property restoration.

 

(Material from the Associated Press was used in this report)

Protesters clash with police officers during a rally in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)
A protester clashes with a police officer during a rally in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece, Sunday, Jan. 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)the Jewish Holocaust give a keynote speech. (AP Photo/Giannis Papanikos)

3 Comments

  1. TNH…brands them as Nationalist..not Greeks, and in so doing ..identifies the greatest enemies and threat to EU, United States and Nato … and their Noble Peace Prize recipient and Traitor…Alexis Tsiprias!

    Importantly, these “Greeks” and excuse me TNH….were directing legitimate protest and anger at the Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos for his part in the dictatorship of Greece!

    Why hasn’t the EU fascist Proletariate…recognized Mr. Mistotakis ..as the new President of Greece….as they have done in Venezuela!

    Only Nazi’s in Nato and EU…can publically …attempt to legitimize international crimes of meddling and threats against the independent countries of the world and almost halfway around the world, ….. to demand the following….…from the elected President of the country of Venezuela , as recently, as 2018!

    EU and Nato.tyranny….

    ‘The leaders EU council — France and Britain — joined Spain and Germany to turn up the pressure on Maduro, saying Saturday that they would follow the U.S. and others in recognizing unknown and unelected Guaido as president unless Venezuela calls a new presidential election within eight days.

    The European Union’s foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini, said that if there is no announcement of a new election in the next days, the 28-nation bloc “will take further actions, including on the issue of recognition of the country’s leadership.”

    Now you know why Tsipras.and Pavlopoulos.are traitors!…

  2. Yes in certain Nationalist Parties or beliefs there are extremists…but many Greeks that are against the agreement are just Greeks venting their anger, not goose stepping brown shirts, then hundreds of thousands that were at rallies, young old yiayias, priest etc were Nazi’s? To down play anger and defense of your country to political names to easily dismiss other opinions is the real evil…

    Greeks are not happy, some are extreme right wing, most are moderate and even a few on the left that see the truth through the lies of SYRIZA..

    Should be Greeks of many beliefs that disagree with the deal protested today, which is their right, seeing as the left protest something everyday….

    1. Pavlos… what this really reflects…is the systematic develoopment of an ideologically depraved bunch of Atheist , Freaks , and degenerate sadist…that have been appointed and imposed in the Governments of the United States , England,, Saudi Arabia, Israel and the EU… and last , but not certainly the least…being the communications networks of the world !

      Today, they are the engineers for the Anglo White Supremacist and their allies …to confuse and disquise what there real intentions are…and that is a Global domination of the sovereignty of every country of the world …including Nuclear powers Russia and China! This is not about communism or capitalism ..only about power and control…with little regard ..to the conseqences fo their acitons!

      It has taken centuries for these degenerates , to finally launch their Global crimes against humanity…but they have done it…and we are impotent to stop them!

      There greatest tool of their war ..has been and will continue to be….their control of the media…to act dumb and stupid. when they are required to conceal evidence of their crimes …and to promote integrity and honor …to impose their crimes against the peoples of the world!

      Pavlo.. this is the reality of the depravity …that is operating everyday in our government..in every department from the Justice department to the Pentagon and C.I.A.!

      The good news… we know the devil …because their is a God…who taught us to recognize it.

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