Tags: EU | Greece | Macedonia | Protest

Greek President, Jeered by Name Deal Foes, Denounces Nazism

Greek President, Jeered by Name Deal Foes, Denounces Nazism

Sunday, 27 January 2019 05:38 PM

THESSALONIKI, Greece (AP) — About 250 nationalist protesters gathered in Greece's second-largest city Sunday to denounce the ratification of a deal to normalize relations with neighboring Macedonia, jeering at "traitor politicians" as some public officials left a concert hall after an International Holocaust Remembrance Day performance.

The protest outside the Thessaloniki Concert Hall was timed to coincide with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos' attendance at the concert. A few were seen making Nazi salutes while singing Greece's national anthem.

The protesters are angry at Pavlopoulos for not weighing in on the agreement with Macedonia. Under the deal, the small country is being renamed North Macedonia and Greece is lifting objections to its NATO membership.

The president was whisked from the concert venue to a side road, as far as possible from the crowd. Earlier, protesters tried to break through police lines around the building but were pushed back. Some later threw rocks at police officers and attacked a squad on motorcycles with sticks.

Police used tear gas and stun grenades to push back the small, but determined crowd. One person was arrested and four were detained, police said.

The Macedonia name has been a sore point in Greece's relations with its young northern neighbor since it declared independence from the former Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece saw it as a implying territorial rights to the Greek province of Macedonia, as well as a claim to ancient Macedonian king Alexander the Great.

During a speech after the concert, Pavlopoulos expressed horror at damage inflicted Friday at a Thessaloniki University campus monument that marks the site of a former Jewish cemetery.

He described the smashing of the monument an "inhuman, barbaric defiling" and called for Europe-wide vigilance against a resurgence of Nazism. Pavlopoulos promised a Holocaust museum in the city would be finished by 2020.

In June, during a protest of the then newly signed name deal between Greece and Macedonia, a group of protesters threw paint at a Holocaust memorial in Thessaloniki.

Thessaloniki had a considerable Jewish community until World War II. In 1943, about 55,000 Jews were deported to extermination camps, mostly Auschwitz, and fewer than 5,000 survived.

Many of those who returned found their former homes occupied by Greek families and a state doing little to help with property restoration.

_______________________________

Demetris Nellas contributed to this report from Athens, Greece.

________________________________

Follow Costas Kantouris on Twitter: https://twitter.com/CostasKantouris

© Copyright 2020 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

   
1Like our page
2Share
GlobalTalk
About 250 nationalist protesters gathered in Greece's second-largest city Sunday to denounce the ratification of a deal to normalize relations with neighboring Macedonia, jeering at "traitor politicians" as some public officials left a concert hall after an International...
EU,Greece,Macedonia,Protest
395
2019-38-27
Sunday, 27 January 2019 05:38 PM
Newsmax Media, Inc.
 
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved