Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will on Friday address a rally in Thessaloniki in an apparent bid to boost leftist SYRIZA’s flagging support in northern Greece.
The speech to party cadres and supporters, set to take place at the Alexandreio Melathron Nick Galis Hall, has been heralded on posters declaring, “Yes to a Macedonia of democracy and solidarity.” It is seen as an apparent attempt to appease residents of Thessaloniki, the capital of the Greek region of Macedonia, many of whom ardently oppose the so-called Prespes deal, deeming that it could fuel irredentist ambitions in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
“We want to convey a message of democracy, solidarity and understanding,” government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said Friday. “At the same time we want to categorically state that Thessaloniki deserves better than such bigotry,” he said.
Also on Friday, conservative leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis will launch New Democracy’s 12th conference in Athens. Mitsotakis is expected to seek to convey a message of unity and rally forces ahead of elections next year under the slogan “Greece, we can.”