ATHENS: The Greek parliament will vote late Jan. 24 on a deal to change Macedonia’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia, the Athens News Agency reported.
A draft name-change deal between Greece and Macedonia will be discussed by lawmakers on Jan. 23 and Jan. 24 before the vote.
On Jan. 20, clashes between police and a group of masked protesters left several injured in the capital as tens of thousands demonstrated against the name change deal with neighboring Macedonia.
According to the government, “the incidents were provoked by extremists, members of the Golden Dawn, who attempted to enter parliament”.
Seven people who were arrested on Jan. 20 have been charged, including two Turkish men and one German woman.
Seventeen civilians and 25 policemen were injured, the Ministry of Health said on Jan. 21.
A wide range of Greek political parties, from the far-right Golden Dawn to the Socialists, oppose the accord to rename Macedonia.
But it could nonetheless be approved by the required 151 deputies in the 300-seat parliament in the coming days.
Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ leftist Syriza party has 145 deputies and enough independent deputies have pledged their support to secure approval.
Macedonia’s parliament backed a constitutional revision to change the country’s name 10 days ago. But for the deal to go through, the change must also be approved by Greek lawmakers.
Macedonia is a former Yugoslav republic, but for most Greeks it is the name of their history-rich northern province made famous by Alexander the Great’s conquests.__Hurriyet