Officials and lawmakers of the SYRIZA-Independent Greeks governing coalition have been on the receiving end of angry protests by Greeks who view the recently-signed ‘Macedonia’ deal with FYROM as treason.
There is anger over the government’s acceptance that its neighbor will be able to refer to its language and ethnicity as ‘Macedonian’. Tsipras’ domestic critics say he has bargained away Greece’s diplomatic advantages — the power of veto over EU and NATO accession — for a deal that could backfire.
The government claims that the reactions to the deal are organized by the opposition and fascist elements and they do not reflect public opinion.
In Macedonia, which borders with FYROM, the protests have been particularly acute. On Wednesday in the town of Kastoria dozens holding Greek flags and singing patriotic songs marched to the office of the local SYRIZA MP demanding that “Macedonia stays Greek”.
Also on Wednesday a makeshift gallows appeared at a rally in the town of Serres. Demonstrators also hoisted a FYROM flag at the local offices of governing SYRIZA.
On Tuesday Justice Minister Stavros Kontonis was taunted at an event in the town of Gianitsa by a crowd who gathered outside a local government building. He later claimed that among the crowd were fascist elements.
Even in Crete, angry protesters confronted Tourism Minister Elena Kountoura. Shouting ‘traitor’ as the Independent Greeks member, the junior partner in the governing coalition, was making her way to an event in the town of Chania.