Prespa Agreement Greece

The Prespa agreement, which replaced the 1995 interim agreement,[44] was signed on 17 June 2018 at a high-level ceremony in the Greek border village of Psarades, on Lake Prespa, by Foreign Ministers Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias, and in the presence of the respective Prime Ministers, Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras. [45] [46] [47] The meeting included the UN Special Representative, Matthew Nimetz, the Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, the Eu`s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini and the European Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy, Johannes Hahn. [49] After the ceremony, Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart crossed the border with the Macedonian side of Lake Prespa for lunch in the village of Otesevo, in a highly symbolic step marking the first entry of a Greek prime minister to the Republic of Macedonia since the declaration of independence in 1991. [50] [51] The second reason is the context of a decades-long economic crisis, where many people feel they have already paid too high a material and symbolic price. In this regard, the compromise on the name was seen by many frustrated people as an additional insult to the violation. The fact that Greece`s Euro-Atlantic partners have unequivocally supported the agreement has inadvertently confirmed the perception of many that the agreement serves international interests more than Greek interests. A survey carried out by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation in Greece in October 2020, in collaboration with KAPA Research, shows that the Prespa agreement is increasingly accepted in Greece, by a majority (58%) The Greeks who see it in a good light. 25% think it`s a good deal, 33% consider it an agreement with several compromises, but necessary (compared to 18% and 24% respectively in 2018). [127] [128] In Greece, the deeply unpopular agreement immediately had a negative impact on Tsipras`s chances of remaining in power. [35] According to the separate polls of Mark and Ekathimerini, between 65% [36] and 68%[37] of Greeks were opposed to the Prespes agreement and what it contained. [38] In 2018 and 2019, there were large public demonstrations against the Prespes agreement in Athens[39] and Thessaloniki, which lasted for days. [40] There were also huge sit-ins of students in central Macedonia in 210 schools in central Macedonia. Despite the riot, protesters were accused of having links to far-right fascists.

[41] The famous composer and leftist Mikis Theodorakis, who also opposed the Prespes agreement, called the Syriza government a « left-wing fascist ». [42] While the overwhelming majority of Greeks (6 to 7 out of 10 according to various polls) strongly opposed any compromise on this issue, most political parties, some of which ultimately voted against the agreement (9 out of 10 in the current parliament), have long expressed their support for a compromise solution with a composite name that would include a geographical qualifier for Macedonia.