Sydney, Melbourne protests over Macedonia name dispute

The long-running dispute over the naming rights for the Former Yugoslav Republic Of Macedonia (FYROM) has spilled onto the streets of Melbourne and Sydney.

Australian-Macedonians take to the streets in Sydney.

Australian-Macedonians take to the streets in Sydney. Source: Twitter / @LydiaLFeng

Thousands of protesters have gathered in Melbourne and Sydney to rally for the country's right to keep its name in an ongoing dispute with Greece.

Flares covered the Melbourne rally with a cloud of red as it made its way from Carlton Gardens to state parliament on Spring Street on Sunday afternoon.

There was a flood of red shirts, flags and signs that read "genocide" and "Macedonians against persecution" as the crowd marched towards state parliament.

The rallies were organised for Melbourne, Sydney and Perth with participants saying the people, language, identity and culture of Macedonia were under attack.

"We do not need to prove who we are - not to Greece, not to the European Union," a speaker said on the steps of Parliament House.

"We are who we are. We are Macedonia."

In Sydney, protesters gathered at Town Hall before making their way to Martin Place, where they were addressed by speakers.

Macedonia and Greece are locked in a bitter dispute over the Balkan state's use of the name, which was reignited after the break up of Yugoslavia.

Greece opposes the use of the name Macedonia, insisting it belongs to a region of Greece and nowhere else.

2 min read
Published 4 March 2018 at 12:36pm