Thousands take to streets of Skopje demanding government calls off talks to settle dispute
Thousands of flag-waving protesters chanted” We are Macedonians” at a rally in the Macedonian capital against a possible change to the name of the former Yugoslav republic to comply with a demand by Greece.
The protesters organised by the” We are Macedonia” motion gathered under a statue of the Hellenic ruler Alexander the Great in Skopje’s main square on Sunday.
Evica Stojanova-Kamberova, one of the organisers told the crowd:” We are here because questions about the name, the identity, the constitution[ and] language are issues over which we must adopt a( strong) stance .”
The small republic and its southern neighbour, Greece, have agreed to step up UN-brokered negotiations this year to solve a decades-old dispute the fact that has hampered Skopje’s ambition to join Nato and the European Union.
Protesters demanded that the prime minister, Zoran Zaev, halting talks with Greece over the name dispute. They also want a UN resolution demanding recognition of the country under its constitutional name of Macedonia.
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