Macedonia and Greece; Clashes in Athens over neighbour’s name change
Protesters have clashed with police in the Greek capital Athens at a big rally to oppose the government’s deal with Macedonia on changing its name.
Police fired tear gas at some of those attending a protest which attracted tens of thousands to the city.
The deal, which is yet to be approved, designates Greece’s northern neighbour as Republic of North Macedonia.
The name Macedonia is sensitive for many Greeks who say it implies a claim on the Greek province of the same name.
Years of wrangling finally brought an agreement last June between Greece’s left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart.
A vote on the deal, which aims to end a 28-year row between the nations, is set to take place in the Greek parliament this week.
The dispute dates back to 1991 and the break-up of Yugoslavia. Macedonia was a Yugoslav republic and adopted the name Macedonia when it became an independent nation.
Greece has long argued the use of the name implied a territorial claim and cultural appropriation. At the UN the country was formally known as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom).