Organizers claimed more than 1.5 million people attended the rally in Syntagma Square, demonstrating against the use of the name “Macedonia” by Greece’s northern neighbor.
Greece’s government is currently in negotiations with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, which broke off from Yugoslavia following that country’s civil war in the 1990s.
One speaker after another, which included leaders from various diaspora organizations, church leaders and politicians, called on their government to respect Greek history and heritage and not allow even a composite use of the word “Macedonia.”
Internationally-acclaimed Greek composer Mikis Theodorakis castigated what he called a “minority” government that is “destroying Greece.”
Photos showed dense crowds in Syntagma Square, as well as up and down all avenues and roadways leading into the square, including masses of people lining Vasilissis Sophias Avenue all the way up to the Hilton Hotel.
Protestors arrived wearing ethnic Greek costumes, Ancient Greek warrior outfits and waving blue and white Greek flags and yellow and black Byzantine flags carrying the double eagle.
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