by Aggelos Skordas
Clashes between demonstrators and police forces erupted on Monday afternoon outside the Thessaloniki International Exhibition Center, where ruling SYRIZA organised an event on “the benefits of the Prespa Agreement” between Tsipras and Zaev on the later’s name.
The protestors attempted to enter the conference area but the strong police presence prevented them. In order to repel the demonstrators, riot police squads made extended use of tear gas and stun grenades. At the same time, a group of hooded youths threw stones and other objects at police officers.
Despite the last-minute change of the event’s location in the face of popular rage, hundreds of people gathered outside the Exhibition Center, protesting against the Greek coalition government’s policy on the longstanding naming dispute with the neighbouring country, while local MPs were booed by the crowd, including SYRIZA Thessaloniki MP Triantafyllos Mitafidis.
The initial location for the event was a cultural center in Thessaloniki’s eastern Toumba area but after local citizens and other groups announced a protest rally against the name deal outside the venue, organisers decided to change it.
*Watch video here-