The usual custom is for governments to conduct the first phase of any serious negotiations behind closed doors and to start formulating some kind of strategy.
Only then do they include the public, when they have a proposal or a set of proposals and want the people to be involved in a discussion of its merits and pitfalls.
In Athens, the Greek government made a big deal of the revival of the name talks with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and turned the issue into a three-ring circus before the negotiations even had a chance to start maturing and get on solid ground.
Maybe the government believed that by doing so it would be able to score points against the opposition and expose any divisions within its ranks as well.
For the time being, however, all the government has accomplished is to open a Pandora’s box of public anger and political division.