sunny.png
Friday September 18th, 2020 8:49AM

After violence, Greek parliament debates deal with Macedonia

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — Greece's parliament on Monday started debating a historic agreement aimed at normalizing relations with Macedonia, a day after violent demonstrations against the deal erupted in Athens.

The agreement would see Macedonia change its name to North Macedonia, while in exchange Greece would lift its objections to its northern neighbor joining NATO and, potentially, the European Union.

The deal was being debated Monday in the Greek parliament's committee on defense and foreign policy, coming under strong criticism from opposition parties that say it concedes too much to Macedonia.

The house's plenary session will take up the debate on Wednesday, before a vote tentatively set for late Thursday.

Left-wing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government is struggling to secure the majority needed to back the deal and may need the support of as many as six opposition lawmakers.

On Sunday, tens of thousands of people gathered outside Parliament to protest the deal, and at least 25 police officers were injured during extensive clashes.

More protests are expected this week, including plans by farmers' associations to use tractors to block roads on the Greek-Bulgarian border on the final day of the parliamentary debate.

The deal is aimed at ending decades of hostility between the two Balkan countries. Greece wants its small landlocked neighbor to change or modify its name, arguing that it currently poses a potential threat to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece's own region of Macedonia.

While the proposed compromise has been ratified by Macedonia, it remains deeply unpopular in Greece — with more than two-thirds of the public opposed to it, according to recent opinion polls.

The government narrowly survived a no-confidence vote last week after its right-wing coalition partner quit in protest at the proposed deal, leaving Tsipras' reliant on opposition support.

On Monday, a potential ally, the centrist Potami, lost its party status in parliament, falling below the minimum representation requirement after a lawmaker declared himself an independent.

The government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos, blamed Sunday's violence on "extreme right elements," but added that opponents of the agreement should be respected.

"Many of the objections are reasonable, but the government has its policy ... and a patriotic duty to secure the national interest," Tzanakopoulos told private 24/7 Radio.

Strongly backed by the U.S. and Western European leaders, the Greek government argues that the deal would boost Balkan stability and improve regional trade.

___

Costas Kantouris in Thessaloniki contributed to this report.

___

Follow Gatopoulos at http://www.twitter.com/dgatopoulos

  • Associated Categories: Associated Press (AP), AP National News, AP Online National News, AP Online Headlines - Washington, AP Online Congress News, AP World News
© Copyright 2020 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
After violence, Greek parliament debates deal with Macedonia
Greece's government has submitted a controversial agreement to parliament aimed at normalizing relations with neighbor Macedonia, a day after violent demonstrations against the deal erupted in Athens
10:03AM ( 3 minutes ago )
France holds trial over horse meat found in frozen lasagna
Four people on in trial in Paris accused of passing off cheap horse meat as pricier beef
9:54AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Few signs of breakthrough as May set to unveil Brexit Plan B
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to unveil her new plan to break Britain's Brexit deadlock _ and it's expected to look a lot like the old plan decisively rejected by Parliament last week
9:49AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
With House, Dems eager to bring DeVos under closer oversight
House Democrats are preparing to bring Education Secretary Betsy DeVos under the sharpest scrutiny she has seen since taking office
9:05AM ( 1 hour ago )
Kamala Harris jumps into presidential race
Kamala Harris opens Democratic presidential bid
8:28AM ( 1 hour ago )
King holiday draws out Democratic presidential hopefuls
As Americans commemorate Martin Luther King Jr., Democratic presidential hopefuls are fanning out across the country to honor the civil rights leader
8:10AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Online Headlines - Washington
Filipino Muslims vote in referendum on autonomous region
Muslims in the southern Philippines are voting in a referendum on a new autonomous region that seeks to end nearly half a century of unrest
10:42PM ( 11 hours ago )
The Latest: Shutdown proposal unlikely to break logjam
Schumer: Senate won't pass president's proposal to break shutdown stalemate
5:07PM ( 16 hours ago )
At 30-day mark, shutdown logjam remains over border funding
Thirty days into the partial government shutdown, Trump and Democrats remain at odds
4:13PM ( 17 hours ago )
AP Online Congress News
Germany bans Iran's Mahan Air amid security concerns
The German government is banning Mahan Air from landing in the country with immediate effect, citing security concerns and the Iranian airline's involvement in Syria
9:04AM ( 1 hour ago )
The Latest: Poland suggests time limit on Irish backstop
Poland's foreign minister has suggested the Brexit impasse could be broken by setting a five-year time limit on an Irish border guarantee in the agreement
9:02AM ( 1 hour ago )
Venezuela forces clash with protesters after reported mutiny
Security forces have fired tear gas against protesters in a poor neighborhood not far from Venezuela's presidential palace after an apparent uprising by a national guard unit
8:07AM ( 1 hour ago )
AP World News
France holds trial over horse meat found in frozen lasagna
Four people on in trial in Paris accused of passing off cheap horse meat as pricier beef
9:54AM ( 12 minutes ago )
Few signs of breakthrough as May set to unveil Brexit Plan B
Prime Minister Theresa May is set to unveil her new plan to break Britain's Brexit deadlock _ and it's expected to look a lot like the old plan decisively rejected by Parliament last week
9:49AM ( 17 minutes ago )
Israel says its jets struck Iranian military sites in Syria
Israel says its jets struck Iranian targets in Syria, in rare departure from policy of ambiguity
9:22AM ( 44 minutes ago )
France's Macron to promote foreign investment at Versailles
French President Emmanuel Macron hosting 150 international business leaders at Palace of Versailles in hopes of producing support for his agenda amid weekly citizen protests of his government's economic policies
9:21AM ( 45 minutes ago )
Frigid air, high winds cause dangerous travel conditions
Frigid air and high winds are causing dangerous travel conditions throughout the eastern U.S. after a powerful winter storm pummeled the region over the weekend
9:15AM ( 50 minutes ago )