15 Police Injured in Greece’s Rally against Macedonia Name Deal (+Video)
TEHRAN (Tasnim) - Protesters held rally against the Macedonia name deal and clashed with police in Thessaloniki, which left 15 police officers injured, and have also resulted in the detention of eight people.
According to the Kathimerini newspaper, an estimated 6,000 of demonstrators took part late on September 8 in a rally dubbed "Macedonia is Greece," set to express protest over the former Yugoslav Republic's renaming.
Around 100 people, wearing masks, started throwing stones and Molotov cocktails at the police officers, while the police responded by applying tear gas and concussion grenades against the protesters.
The protesters were trying to reach the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center, where country's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was delivering a speech at the opening of the Thessaloniki International Fair, Sputnik News reported.
A total of 28 people were initially seized by the police, but most of them were released later. The injured police officers have received medical aid.
This is not the first rally against the name deal, as a similar mass protest had gathered between 300,000 and 500,000 people in January, according to the coordinators.
On June 17, Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers signed an agreement on the former Yugoslav Republic's renaming to the Republic of North Macedonia, following a decades-long dispute over the use of "Macedonia," which Greece has been objecting as this it is also the name of one of its regions.
On September 30, a referendum on the former Yugoslav Republic's new constitutional name will be held, and if the move is approved, the country will be able to seek NATO and European Union membership.