Is Greece’s SYRIZA Eyeing Up a ‘Macedonia’ Referendum?

Political analysts in Greece are speculating whether the SYRIZA-led government is having second-thoughts on its refusal to contemplate a referendum on a possible agreement on the name of FYROM.

Friday’s front-page of SYRIZA’s official newspaper ‘Avgi’ leads with a headline reading “Yes and No” in capital letters and analyses what each choice would mean for Greece.

Among other things, it claims a YES vote on an agreement would “serve the national interest, democracy and consensus,” whereas a NO would lead to “fear-mongering, nationalism, irresponsibility and fascism”.

Such black-and-white tactics were used prior to the 2015 referendum on the bailout, say commentators.

The difference being that then — unlike now — SYRIZA campaigned for a NO.

Whereas the FYROM leadership has stated it plans to conduct a referendum on a deal with Greece, Athens has insisted the approval of parliament is enough.

The stark choice presented by Avgi is also a sign Athens is concerned about the influence of a grassroots movement taking shape in Greece against an agreement and may turn anti-government.

A rally is to take place in Athens on Sunday where hundreds of thousands are expected to demonstrate against the use of the term Macedonia by FYROM.