Greek PM fends off no-confidence vote, opposition protests continue

Protesters in Athens, Greece, on Saturday, angry about a proposed change of the name of Macedonia, a measure that caused mass protests in both countries. Photo by Alexandros Vlachos/EPA

June 17 (UPI) — Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Saturday survived a no-confidence vote over a deal to end a decades-old dispute regarding the name of neighboring Macedonia.

Lawmakers backed Tsipras by rejecting the motion brought by the opposition New Democracy party, which had accused him of granting too many concessions to Macedonia in the deal, which is set to be signed Sunday.

The European Union, the United Nations, the United States and NATO all welcomed the agreement, which changes the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

The opposition party said the deal is harmful for Greek interests. Before the vote, thousands of protesters gathering for a second day outside the House caused a riot that led to police firing tear gas into the crowd.

On Wednesday, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov refused to sign the name change deal and said he wouldn’t grant approval if the measure is passed by Madeconia’s parliament.


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