“More than 100,000 people gathered in the Greek capital on Sunday to stage the biggest demonstration in decades against the inclusion of the word ‘Macedonia’ in the name of a neighboring former Yugoslav republic, saying it implies a territorial claim on a northern Greek region. The rally, drawing around 140,000, according to police estimates, was larger even than most of the numerous demonstrations organized after Greece signed its first international bailout program in 2010, paving the way for years of painful belt-tightening. Still, the demonstration on Sunday appeared to fall far short of the one million that organizers said had attended. Greece and the Republic of Macedonia began United Nations-mediated talks last month to try to settle the 25-year name dispute. Many Greeks argue that its neighbor’s use of ‘Macedonia’ suggests an encroachment on the Greek region of that name, whose capital is Thessaloniki. That city has itself staged protests over the disagreement.” (NY Times)

“For future talks on resolving the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece under the auspices of the United Nations (UN), instead of the current negotiators, the foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece will be head of the negotiating teams. This was agreed upon between the mediator in the negotiations, Matthew Nimetz , and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev at their meeting today, the Government reported. At today’s meeting in the prime minister’s office, Nimetz outlined his ideas, while Zaev presented ideas and views from the government and the political leadership from a coordinated meeting on Saturday in the MP’s Clubhouse. During the discussions it was also emphasized that a positive moment was created in the latest phase of the negotiations, and that the two countries have shown that they are committed to building further confidence measures.” (Meta)