NEWS

Tsipras blames 'extremist elements' for clashes; protesters cry staged provocation

TAGS: Protest

A statement from Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' office blames “extremist elements and members of (extreme-right party) Golden Dawn” for the clashes during the rally against the Prespes deal.

"In our democracy, citizens' free expression is an inalienable right, even for those who want to abolish democracy...It is also the duty and obligation of those of us who do believe not to allow them. Let's isolate and condemn them," the statement said.

Police also released a statement, saying their forces had been attacked by “organized groups of individuals with special ferocity, (using) rocks, iron bars, wooden clubs, firebombs etc...in any case, police forces acted according to operational plans and orders, showed restraint and professionalism and, using the appropriate methods, repelled the attacks.”

Many believed the attacks were staged to disperse the peaceful protesters. Thus, former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras tweeted: “The millions of Greeks are, and will continue to be, against the Prespes agreement. Whatever provocation they come up with, however tear gas they spray, people will remain unbowed, for Macedonia”

[Kathimerini/AP]

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