Hordes of Greeks have taken to the streets of Athens―a dissent about the long-lasting dispute over the name “Macedonia”.
Hundreds of Greeks object to the country calling itself Macedoina; a tactic Greece considers an implication of territorial claim on its northern Macedonia region. The mass of protesters disapprove of the Greek government proposals on solving the matter.
Demonstrators holding Greek flags chanted “hands off Macedonia” and “Macedonia is Greece” as they gathered in Syntagma Square outside parliament. This is the second protest in recent weeks.
Greece’s left-wing Syriza government says the issue is a diplomatic obstacle. So, they want a painless solution and have proposed agreeing to a composite name for the country. As a neutral outcome, the name would include the word Macedonia but ensure a clear differentiation from the Greek region.
However, for many Greeks, that would be a step too far.
There are talks under way at the United Nations. Meanwhile, the Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has received death threats since, saying he expects an end to the dispute to within months.
Most of all, the Greek Orthodox church backs the campaign to stop Macedonia using any variant of the name. It’s a gesture that shows Greeks aren’t going to let this slide.