Thousands have taken to the streets of Skopje to protest against the possible name change of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
The protesters gathered in Skopje‘s main square on Sunday, under the statue of Greek ruler Alexander the Great, a historical figure of Hellenism they claim as their own.
Waving flags and chanting “We are Macedonians”, they demanded their government halt talks with Greece over the naming dispute.
“We are here because questions about the name, the identity, the constitution (and) language are issues over which we must adopt a (strong) position,” rally organizer Evica Stojanova-Kamberova told the crowd, according to a Deutsche Welle report.
The Balkan country is in negotiations with Greece over the use of the term ‘Macedonia’ in its name.
It’s government wants to end the dispute with Greece with finding a name that would satisfy both countries in order for Skopje to become a member of NATO and the EU.
Greece has vetoed the accession of FYROM unless the Skopje government changes its name and revises its constitution that includes irredentist claims.