Greeks to rally towards use of "Macedonia" in title…

Andrew Cummings
January 22, 2018

Tens of thousands of flag-waving Greeks rallied in Thessaloniki Sunday, demanding Greece never compromise on the name Macedonia for its northern province.

"There is only one Macedonia and it is Greek", protesting groups said on videos uploaded on the internet.

However, Athens agreed that the country can be referred to internationally as "FYROM" (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia), the name under which it was admitted to the United Nations in 1993. Following the break-up of Yugoslavia in the early 1990s, the United Nations was forced to broker an agreement between the two countries, which in 1995 led to the naming...

According to Macedonian media, Nimetz has proposed five alternatives all containing the name.

The issue has been a source of conflict between the two countries ever since Macedonia's independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. "Macedonia is Greek and this is not negotiable", said protester Dimitris Triantafillidis, 50, a shop owner from the northern regional district of Pieria.

Meanwhile from Athens, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras suggested calm and clear thinking to seize an opportunity to end the long-standing row.

However, he told Ethnos newspaper that he could understand "the concerns and sensitivities" of Greeks in the region of Macedonia.

As a result, in 2008, Greece blocked Macedonia's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation entry and has also continued blocking the start of Macedonia's EU accession talks, despite several positive annual reports from the European Commission on the country's progress.

It was attended by far-right to centre-left politicians, Greek hardliners dressed in traditional costumes who travelled to Thessaloniki from as far away as Crete island.

Matthew Nimetz - UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres' representative - will once again serve as the mediator, when talks between Greece and Macedonia resume on Wednesday in NY. At the meeting, the prime ministers will talk about the process of the talks about the name dispute.

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