Greek gov’t hoping opposition to deal will ease with time


The government is reportedly banking on the theory that the passage of time will blunt fierce opposition to the name deal signed on Sunday with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

Despite the rallies, public statements and opinion polls stacked against the deal, aides close to Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras say it will become increasingly clear, particularly to residents of northern Greece, that it has positive aspects given the economic benefits it will spawn.

Nonetheless, Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis and SYRIZA lawmaker Theodora Tzakri were booed Tuesday by some 20 people outside a courthouse in Yiannitsa in northern Greece.  

Kontonis dismissed the protesters as a small group comprising members of neonazi Golden Dawn and some officials of New Democracy. 

Lawmakers in Skopje, meanwhile, started debating the deal Tuesday, as protesters gathered in the city center to vent their disapproval. They earlier voted for a faster ratification procedure.