Mount Athos monks call for referendum on Prespes Agreement

The Monastic Community will send a delegation of monks for Sunday’s protest

The Greek Orthodox monks of Mount Athos expressed their vehement opposition to the Prespes Agreement on the name dispute with FYROM in a statement released.

The Monastic Community in Athos convened an extraordinary meeting on Thursday and decided to participate in Sunday’s protest against the Prespes Agreement in Athens by sending a delegation of monks to Syntagma Square.

The monks of Mount Athos, which is located on the Chalkidiki peninsula in Macedonia, northern Greece, issued a statement after their meeting expressing their unequivocal objection to the deal, which is expected to be debated in Greek parliament next week.

“We are appealing to members of the Greek Parliament, even at the final hour, to not move forward with the ratification of the Agreement before a referendum is held”, an excerpt of the announcement read.
In another part of the announcement, the monks argue accepting the deal would mean Greece concedes the historic name “Macedonia” to a neighbouring country with all the implications such a move would entail.

The announcement reiterated that Mount Athos considered the recognition of a “Macedonian language” and a “Macedonian nationality” a contempt to historical truth.

Macedonian groups and associations mobilise for Sunday’s rally

Meanwhile, the crowd on Sunday’s rally is expected to surpass all previous protests, as many groups and associations both in Macedonia and the rest of Greece have been actively campaigning to bring people to Athens.

The regional governor of Central Macedonia Apostolos Tzitzikostas, through the “Respect the Truth” campaign launched on social media, is calling on all Macedonians to take part in the mass mobilisation of Sunday.

The governor tabled and passed a resolution against the Agreement by the Regional Council of Central Macedonia and the Association of Regions of Greece, which he sent to all member of the Greek parliament in order to inform them about the positions of the local governments.