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Society

Former Greek Army Chief Wants Macedonia Referendum, Diaspora Vote

July 10, 2018

ATHENS – Hellenic Army Honorary chief Frangos Frangoulis said a petition should be drawn up to force Prime Minister and Radical Left SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras to hold a referendum over the Macedonia name giveaway and force him to allow Greeks abroad to have voting rights.

The anti-nationalist Premier made a deal to allow the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to call itself North Macedonia and its citizens to be called Macedonians with a Macedonian language and identity, infuriating dissenting Greeks.

Macedonia is the name of an ancient Greek province which abuts FYROM – and which FYROM still claims, along with the second-largest city and major port of Thessaloniki as that country’s Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, hasn’t acted yet to change his country’s Constitution as promise to remove irredentist claims on Greek lands and history.

Frangoulis, stirring the pot as protests have continued despite the deal, also said Greeks should press Tsipras to give voting rights to those in the Diaspora, scores of thousands of whom have fled in search of work and a better life.

Earlier this year Tsipras said he would agree to the request by the major opposition New Democracy for the voting rights but reneged on that just as he did on virtually every anti-austerity promise and every other pledge he made.

In an open letter, he said that, “I invite you and ask you that we unite our voices, that we all give our signatures to ensure that the right to vote is given without delay to Diaspora Greeks, who are pure patriots and think about the nation above all and not the party games of each successive government,” Frangoulis wrote.

“So let us go door-to-door, gathering signatures, for the right for diaspora Greeks to vote and for a referendum on the unacceptable national deal between Tsipras and Zaev,” he said.

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