Members of Greece's Communist Party stand on the ancient Acropolis Hill over giant banners protesting against the Prespa Agreement in front of the ancient Parthenon temple, in Athens, Thursday, Jan. 24, 2019. Greek lawmakers are debating a historic agreement aimed at normalizing relations with Macedonia in a stormy parliamentary session scheduled to culminate in a Thursday vote, while opponents have announced a series of protests. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

Macedonia deal: Greek protesters reach Acropolis before vote

January 24, 2019 - 4:07 am

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — About 1,500 police officers have taken up positions around Athens before demonstrations planned against Greece's ratification of an agreement with Macedonia to normalize relations after decades of strain.

A four-day parliamentary debate was due to end late Thursday with a vote that would finalize plans by Greece's neighbor to change its name to North Macedonia and further its bid to join NATO.

Protesters from the Greek Communist Party draped two giant banners opposing the deal over the walls of the ancient Acropolis early Thursday.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras' government needs support from up to six opposition lawmakers for the agreement to be ratified.

Opponents argue that the deal doesn't end a potential territorial threat to Greece's northern region of Macedonia. Mass demonstrations last Sunday were marred by extensive violence.

AP Editorial Categories: