European Western Balkans

Ratification of Prespa Agreement before Greek MPs this week, in the wake of protests

Athens; Photo: Pixabay

ATHENS – This week in Greece will be marked by the process of ratification of the Prespa Agreement, which has already proven itself to be tumultuous.

Last Wednesday, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras won the vote of confidence with a minimal majority of 151 votes. The weekend witnessed tens of thousands of protesters, who gathered in Athens to express their opposition to the ratification of the Agreement, according to which Greece will lift the blockade of Macedonia’s membership in NATO and EU.

Prespa Agreement, already ratified by the Macedonian Parliament, recognizes Macedonians as a political nation, as well as their separate language, which is regarded as a Slavic one. The country’s official name will become the Republic of North Macedonia.

Accordnig to the police estimates, there were around 60.000 of people, Kathimerini reports. They were addressed by the former Prime Minister Antonis Samaris, as well as a Mt. Athos representative.

The protesters clashed with the police, throwing rocks, paint and firebombs at them. Ten officers were reported to be injured. Prime Minister Tsipras blamed the extremist elements and members of the party Golden Dawn for the incident.

On Monday, the largest opposition party New Democracy stated that it will prevent the Government from fast tracking the debate.

A centrist parliamentary group Potami, which is expected to support the Agreement, broke apart when two of its members left it because of their intention to vote it down.

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