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“Prespes ratification is a patriotic duty,” says Tsipras as thousands ready for protest rally

“The Prespes Agreement a historic step” for both countries and its ratification is a “patriotic duty,” Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in an interview on Saturday, as the government tables the Agreement to the Greek Parliament and thousands of Greeks prepare for the big anti-Macedonia rally in Athens on Sunday.

Tabling the Agreement to the Parliament for ratification, the Greek government sets the wheels  of this thorny issue in motion.

The draft law enshrines and brings into force the agreement signed at Prespes between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on 17 June 2018.

Citing government sources, Greek state news agency amna reports that Parliament Speaker Nikos Voutsis’ intention is the process to move comfortably. The details of the procedure will be discussed at the parliament presidents meeting on Monday at 12:00. Later on the days, at 17:00, the draft law will be introduced to the parliament’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee.

The vote on the Prespes Agreement is expected to be held until Friday 25 January. Draft Law in English here

The Prespes Agreement has polarized the political landscape and thousands of Greeks from across the country are getting ready to get on chartered buses and private vehicles for the big rally to protest the Prespes Agreement.

The rally is scheduled to take place at Syntagma square, opposite the Parliament, will start at 2 p.m. Sunday, Jan 20.

Organizers of the “Greekness of Macedonia” estimate that more than 3,000 buses full with protesters will join their forces in Athens.

Metro stations <Syntagma>, <Panepistimio> and <Omonoia> will be closed to public for several hours, starting at 10 a.m. Sunday. They will be open to public again when the rally is over. Metro trains will pass through but will not halt.

An initiative by prominent Greek singers and artists are gathering signatures demanding a Referendum for Macedonia.

According to one poll to by published by a Sunday newspaper, 66% of Greeks say NO to Prespes Agreement.

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