Greek Gov’t Attacks Mikis Theodorakis over Speech at “Macedonia” Rally

“The shift of Mr. Theodorakis to intolerant and politically extreme positions is a sad development,” Greek government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Monday.

Speaking to national broadcaster ERT, Tzanakopoulos criticized harshly the presence and speech of renowned composer Mikis Theodorakis who spoke at Sunday’s protest rally against the use of the word Macedonia in the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

“I do not think it was a good choice to appear and speak the way he spoke in the rally. I do not know if referring to leftist fascism was referring to himself and his past. I do not know if he honors the way that people of the far-right and well-known fascists greeted him,” Tzanakopoulos said.

Tzanakopoulso said that the government definitely takes note of the great mobilization of Greek people, but insisted that the tone of the rally was given by extremist political elements.

“The motto of yesterday’s rally was “no use of the term Macedonia” for the name of the neighboring country. But is this a position that Greek foreign policy can adopt?” the government spokesperson said.

The government spokesperson ruled out the possibility of a referendum on the FYROM name talks and the use of the term “Macedonia” in a composite name. The referendum was suggested by Theodorakis during his speech and by others since the beginning of negotiations on the FYROM name.

“There is no thought for a referendum at the moment,” Tzanakopoulos said.

The government spokesman also attacked main opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis accusing him of not taking a clear stance on the use of the term “Macedonia” in the name of Greece’s Balkan neighbor.