Political chaos has unfolded in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia as hundreds of demonstrators stormed Parliament on Thursday and attacked lawmakers to protest the election of a new speaker.
Most protestors were supporters of the former Prime Minister nationalist Nikola Gruevski whose party didn’t have the numbers to form government after the recent December elections.
More than 77 people were injured during the violent demonstrations, including police officers and the leader of the opposition Zoran Zaev.
Greece has expressed concern over the political instability in the neighbouring country which finds itself in internal conflict with its large ethnic Albanian population which has demanded Albania be recognised as the second official language.
“It is with sorrow and concern that we see FYROM backsliding into deep political crisis. A crisis that – if it is to be dealt with – requires that the involved parties show respect for the principles of democracy, legality and the rule of law. Respect – as we have requested for years now – for the culture of compromise and consensus. In the absence of these principles, impasses and volatile situations are created.
“Greece, which has long supported the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of neighbouring countries, stands ready, whenever asked to do so, to contribute to the de-escalation of the crisis based on the principles of international law and respect for the independence, territorial integrity and sovereignty of FYROM,” said a statement from the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs.