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Greeks Rally For 'Macedonia'
January 22, 2018 10:18 GMT
Agency photographs show the scale and emotion of the January 21 protest in Greece over the name "Macedonia." Feelings have been stirred by
out of Athens and Skopje that a compromise might be at hand to the 26-year name dispute.
A crowd gathers in the northern Greek city of Thessaloniki on January 21 to protest the use of the name "Macedonia" by Greece's northern neighbor. The region of Greece around Thessaloniki is also called Macedonia.
Greeks chant slogans during the protest that police say attracted 90,000 people. Reuters estimated the crowd at "hundreds of thousands."
The crowd surrounds a statue of Alexander The Great during the Thessaloniki protest. Participants sang Greece's national anthem and held banners reading, "There is only one Macedonia and it is Greek!"
Greeks in traditional clothing during the protest. The current dispute over the name "Macedonia" dates back to the early 1990s and the breakup of the former Yugoslavia. In 1993, Macedonia was admitted into the United Nations under the "
" name The Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia, or FYROM, although most have since adopted simply Republic Of Macedonia.
A military vehicle patrols the Greece-Macedonia border in 2016. Athens says Skopje's use of the name "Macedonia" suggests irredentist and territorial claims over Greece's northern region of the same name.
A huge statue to Alexander The Great, also known as "King Alexander III of Macedon," in Skopje, the capital of Macedonia. According to veteran UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, a resolution to the impasse between Skopje and Athens is
Protesters at the January 21 rally in Thessaloniki. Many hard-liners in Greece insist that whatever name is agreed for the former Yugoslav republic, the title must not include the term "Macedonia." Others, including Greek Prime Minister Alex Tsipras, have indicated they would accept "Macedonia" to be included in a compound name.
In January, Nimetz reportedly suggested the term "Macedonia" will be kept in the proposal for a name change, "as it has already been recognized by more than 100 countries in the world." Negotiators and officials in Skopje and Athens say they hope to resolve the long-running dispute within months.
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