12:34 GMT +316 October 2019
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    Greek Police Say Adhered to Rules During Rally in Athens (VIDEO)

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    ATHENS (Sputnik) - The Greek Police said on Sunday that it acted in accordance with operational planning and orders to prevent unrest during a rally in Athens.

    "In all cases, the security forces acted in accordance with operational planning and orders, maintained composure and professionalism and effectively countered attacks using appropriate means, thereby thwarting the intentions of these organized groups," the police said.

    According to the police, as many as ten Greek police officers were hospitalized following the attack.

    ​The Greek government said that the members of the far-right Greek political party Golden Dawn were those who staged the provocation and intended to attack the parliament building.

    ​Earlier in the day, the police reported that about 60,000 people took part in a rally against the Greece-Macedonia name change deal at Syntagma Square in Athens. Groups of rioters in hoods and gas masks staged a provocation during the rally and made an attempt to break through to the parliament building, and the police, in turn, used tear gas.

    On June 17, the agreement between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) was signed in the border town of Prespa in an attempt to solve their decades-long dispute over the name "Macedonia," with Greece objecting to its use because it was also the name of one of its regions. Under the deal, Macedonia changes its name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

    However, despite the fact that the ratification of the agreement would not only resolve the long-standing dispute but would also allow the renamed Macedonia to join the European Union and NATO, the Prespa deal has faced criticism both in Greece and Macedonia.

    While some Greek politicians believe that the name "Macedonians" should be reserved exclusively for those who live in the Greek region of Macedonia, some in Skopje see the deal as a blow to the country's national identity.

    Last week, the Macedonian parliament ratified a constitutional amendment to rename the country to the Republic of North Macedonia.


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