Police used tear gas to disperse a demonstration in Ptolemaida on Wednesday, February 27, injuring at least one person. Dozens reportedly gathered in the city center to protest the change of Macedonia's name to the Republic of North Macedonia. 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.
Macedonia officially changed its name to the Republic of North Macedonia on February 12, 2019, after both Greek and Macedonian parliaments approved an agreement ushering in the change. The compromise 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.
Individuals located in Ptolemaida are advised to monitor developments to the situation and avoid all protests as a precaution.
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