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Greece: Violent protest in Athens amid vote on Macedonia name change Jan. 25 /update 4

Police forces disperse with tear gas protesters gathered in Athens to denounce vote on Macedonia name change January 25; avoid all gatherings

25 Jan 01:00 PM UTC
TIMEFRAME expected from 1/25/2019, 12:00 AM until 1/27/2019, 11:59 PM (Europe/Athens). COUNTRY/REGION Greece, Athens
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Event

Police forces reportedly fired tear gas to disperse thousands of protesters gathered outside the parliament building in Athens amid vote regarding the change of Macedonia's name on Friday, January 25. Additional demonstrations over the issue are possible, notably in the capital Athens, in the coming hours and days. A heightened security presence and associated transportation disruptions are to be anticipated near the demonstrations. Further clashes between protesters and police are likely.

Context

The Greek parliament is set to vote on the ratification of the Prespa Agreement, which, if approved, would recognize the change of Macedonia's name to the Republic of North Macedonia. The Macedonian parliament ratified the agreement in June 2018. The change is intended to end a 27-year-long dispute with Greece over the name and clear the way for Macedonia's admission to the EU and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). The name change has been controversial in both Greece and Macedonia, spurring demonstrations in both countries.

On January 20 and 24, "Macedonia is Greece" demonstrations took place in Athens to protest the name change, as tens of thousands of people rallied in the capital. Clashes were also reported as police used tear gas to disperse the crowds.

Advice

Individuals located in Greece are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all protests as a precaution.

 

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