Greek police fire tear gas at protesters over FYROM name deal

Greek police fire tear gas at protesters over FYROM name deal

Greek police fired teargas at protesters outside Parliament on Saturday as lawmakers were in session discussing a no-confidence motion against the government over a controversial name deal with neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Reuters witnesses saw police fire at least two rounds of teargas at individuals who tried to scale stairs outside parliament in central Athens, angered by the accord between the two countries earlier in the week.

“Traitors, traitors,” up to 5,000 protesters gathered in the central Syntagma square chanted.

Athens and Skopje agreed this week to end a decades-old dispute over the name of the Balkan country. Under the deal, the former Yugoslav state will be known in future as North Macedonia.

The agreement has triggered a storm of protest in both countries. In Athens, opposition parties filed a motion of no confidence against the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, angered at what they describe as a national sellout.

“I'm furious. That person (Tsipras) is not working in the national interests or the national sentiment of Greeks,” said demonstrator Sophia Constantinidou, 45.

Many Greeks see the name issue as an attempt by Skopje to hijack Greece's ancient cultural heritage. [Reuters]

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