Confusion Reigns Over Competing Macedonia Name Protest Rallies

January 31, 2018

ATHENS – Two groups have submitted applications to hold protest rallies in the Greek capitalist against plans by the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA to give away the name Macedonia in a new composite for the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

While it was initially reported that organizers of a mass demonstration wanted to lure as many as a million people to the port city of Piraeus, two groups have separately asked for permission to use Syntagma Square across from the Greek Parliament, the site of thousands of failed protests and strikes against austerity measures since 2010.

One was submitted by Dimitrios Michakis, who said he represents several Orthodox, diaspora and cultural groups, while the other is from a committee claiming to represent “global pan-Macedonian associations,” Kathimerini reported.

“It would be silly on our side to create problems. Both requests submitted for coordinating the rally are being examined and a decision will be made (Jan. 31,)” said Deputy Mayor Nelly Papachela, who is responsible for managing the municipality’s public spaces.

“Mr. Michakis submitted his request first, a day earlier, but this is not an issue that will be solved on the basis of who came first,” she told Antenna TV.

Far left-groups who, like some elements in the ruling Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras don’t want any borders between countries said they will conduct counter-protests at the same time, creating the possibility of conflict.


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