Social media campaign stirring Prespes deal opposition at Greek schools

Social media campaign stirring Prespes deal opposition at Greek schools

An anonymous social media drive mobilizing middle and high school students to oppose Greece’s name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is expected to culminate with protest rallies and school gatherings on Thursday.

Students at a few dozen high schools have already held sit-ins and marches.

The campaign – which includes slogans like “Macedonia is Greek” and “Punks, traitors, politicians” – is believed to be the work of far-right hardliners and possibly the neo-Nazi Golden Dawn party.

Education Minister Costas Gavroglou recently accused GD of trying to recruit schoolchildren by tapping into a surge of nationalist sentiment following June’s name deal.

The campaign has also sparked a reaction from the opposite camp, with some 50 schools signing a petition to end the “nationalist takeover.” 

A group named “Initiative to Coordinate Schools and Students in Athens” has called for a protest rally in central Athens at noon, urging students “not to allow fascists to find room for expression in our schools.” 

The federation of secondary school teachers (OLME) on Wednesday decried the drive as an attempt “to cultivate division, hate, racism and neo-fascist beliefs.”

The conservative-backed DAKE teachers’ union, meanwhile, lashed out against “the criminalization and moral depreciation of patriotic events.”

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