A rally over the Macedonia name dispute outside Victoria’s state parliament over the weekend has caused controversy in the Greek community after Greek flags were set alight.
Two piles of Greek flags were set on fire, the scene intervened by police who used extinguishers to put out the flames.
The three-hour rally took place on Sunday, starting at Carlton Gardens and moving on to parliament house.
The Greek flag was not the only one to be set alight, witnesses also sighting a group of men burning a Bulgarian flag while walking along Swanston Street ahead of the rally.
Flares were also lit resulting in massive clouds of red, with the perpetrators encouraged by organizers to stop, given their intentions to carry out a peaceful protest.
Meanwhile attendees wore ‘Macedonia’ shirts and scarves, and carried flags, while some dressed as warriors.
Heard chanting “Macedonia” as they walked along Melbourne’s streets, a number of signs were also visible amongst the crowd, reading “The name is priceless”, “Genocide” and “the Republic of Macedonia belongs to Macedonians and no one else”.
The rally comes a week after the Greek Australian community of Melbourne and Victorian rallied over the name dispute, opposing the use of the name ‘Macedonia’ by its Balkan neighbour.
(A number of Turkish flags were also seen at the rally)