Hundreds of thousands of Greeks have turned out in Thessaloniki. They are united against the use of the name “Macedonia” in a long-running row with Skopje.
Greece says the title 'Macedonia' implies a territorial claim over its own northern region of the same name.
"We are all here to cry out loud that Macedonia is one and it is Greek. Macedonia is in Greece and we are demonstrating against the neighboring country and against irresponsibility against our country and against our Macedonia," said one of the demonstrators.
Pantelis Paschalidis a member of Naoussa Cultural Club said, "There is no reason to discuss the self-evident. The Slavs came a long time after Alexander the Great and they have nothing to do with the culture of Greece."
This month Athens and Skopje agreed to renew efforts to settle the 25-year old row, which has blocked the ex-Yugloslav republic’s attempts to join NATO and the European Union.
Organisers of the rally say that participation exceeded all expectations and that this sends a strong message to the Greek government in light of the negotiations that are take placing with the goverment of FYROM'.