Greece

Violent clashes erupt in Greece

Protesters clash with riot police in Athens on Sunday during a demonstration against the agreement to rename neighbouring country Macedonia as the Republic of North Macedonia.
Protesters clash with riot police in Athens during a demonstration against the agreement to rename neighbouring country Macedonia as the Republic of North Macedonia, Jan. 20. Photo: Louisa Gouliamaki/AFP/Getty Images

A protest by tens of thousands of people in Athens against the government's deal to rename the country's northern neighbor to the Republic North Macedonia turned violent on Sunday after protesters threw stones and fireworks at police, who responded with tear gas, BBC reports.

Details: This comes as the Greek Parliament is expected to vote this week on ratifying the agreement for the name change — paving the way for Macedonia's admission into NATO and the European Union. Greek nationalists have long opposed the name "Macedonia" for its northern neighbor, claiming it implied territorial claims to a Greek province of the same name. The Macedonian Parliament ratified the agreement this month.

Macedonia approves name change in step toward joining NATO

A demonstrator waves the old Macedonian flag during a protest against a process of renaming the country's name in front of the Parliament building.
A demonstrator waves the old Macedonian flag during a protest against a process of renaming the country. Photo: Robert Atanasovski/AFP via Getty Images

Macedonia finalized its end of a deal with Greece Friday to rename itself the Republic of North Macedonia, paving the way for the Balkan state's entry into NATO and possibly the EU, the AP reports.

Why it matters: Greece, which must now ratify the agreement, had previously opposed the country joining NATO and the EU because of a dispute over the name "Macedonia," which it claimed "implied territorial claims by to a Greek province of the same name," per Reuters.

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