Confusion grows over Sunday’s ‘Macedonia’ rally in Athens

Confusion grows over Sunday’s ‘Macedonia’ rally in Athens

Confusion grew on Tuesday regarding a rally being planned in the Greek capital on Sunday over the ongoing name negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), as the City of Athens was examining two separate requests submitted for the use of Syntagma Square.

One was submitted by Dimitrios Michakis, the self-professed representative of several Orthodox, diaspora and cultural groups, while the other is from a committee claiming to represent “global pan-Macedonian associations.”

“It would be silly on our side to create problems. Both requests submitted for coordinating the rally are being examined and a decision will be made today,” said Deputy Mayor Nelly Papachela, who is responsible for managing the municipality’s public spaces.

“Mr. Michakis submitted his request first, a day earlier, but this is not an issue that will be solved on the basis of who came first,” she told Antenna TV.

Both groups are planning to hold a rally in front of Parliament to protest the use of the word “Macedonia” in any solution put forward to settle the ongoing name dispute with FYROM.

A similar gathering held in Thessaloniki earlier this month drew tens of thousands of protesters, with some putting attendance as high as half a million.

In the meantime, far-left groups are also planning a march to protest the rally on the same day.