Protest In FYROM As PM Offers Greece Options For Name Change

Marco Green
March 3, 2018

Several thousand Macedonians took to the streets in capital Skopje on Tuesday to protest against a possible change of their country's name, as required by Greece to end a long-running row.

The protesters demanded an end to ongoing talks between Macedonia's government and their Greek counterparts aimed at solving the 25-year dispute.

"We are not negotiating via media and are not sending messages through media, but saying that positions of both sides have approximated", Bosnjakovski said.

They accused the government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and the main opposition nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party of betraying Macedonia's national interests.

Zaev said Macedonians were "prepared to do a change [of the constitution]" but added that it would be "very hard".

MIA agency reported that the protest was organized by the civic initiative "For United Macedonia" with the aim of "defending the name of the state and the identity of the nation".

Bosnjakovski added that Reuters had corrected their news item regarding the interview of Zaev, since its initial report was erroneous.

Greece, whose northern province is called Macedonia, believes that the name exclusively belongs to its historic and cultural heritage and, fearing territorial claims, is asking the neighboring country to change its name.

At the moment Athens block Euro-Atlantic aspirations of the Macedonians, as, according to the Greeks, Macedonia has appropriated the name of one of the Northern regions of Greece. As Skopje has renewed efforts to join the European Union and NATO, Greece has signaled that its position remains unchanged.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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