Greece: Thousands protest against Macedonia name change, 5 police officers injured

Athens [Greece]: Demanding a referendum, thousands of protestors took to the streets in Athens on Sunday to protest against an agreement that aims at renaming Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia.

Around 2,000 law enforcement officials were deployed near the Greek Parliament building for the protests which left five police officers and a few protestors wounded, reports Anadolu Agency.
Protestors demanded a referendum to be held on the issue. The agreement, which was signed in June 2018 between Greece and Macedonia, will be voted on in Parliament on January 25.

“We stand here united. We demand the government let our voice be heard, we want a referendum on the name deal,” the protesters chanted on Sunday.

For decades, Macedonia has been trying to gain membership of the North American Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU). However, Greece raised objections to the official usage of Macedonia’s name, arguing that it implies territorial aspirations against a northern Greek region with the same name.

The Prespa Agreement, the 2018 agreement signed between Macedonia and Greece, necessitates Macedonia to change its name in return for Greece to drop its objection against the country joining the organisations.