MACEDONIANS PROTEST AGAINST GREEK MILITARY
Around 30 Macedonians from the village of Ovcarani, northern Greece, staged protests in front of Greek military training site in the village of Zabrdeni urging the army to pull out of the area.
Shortly before 8 p.m. Tuesday, Macedonians set up roadblocks to avert a convoy of four military vehicles from deploying in the area.
The police and public prosecutor arrived at the site to negotiate with protesters. The locals left the site shortly before midnight.
Greek soldiers who slept in tents under the open sky were woken up late at night from the sounds of church bells from the surrounding villages who all rang at the same time.
Ethnic Macedonians in Greece are fed up with the Greek Army intimidation tactics to show up with tanks surrounding their villages, under the auspices of ‘training’. Local resident who wished to remain anonymous explained that the Greek Army always chooses to show their might in cities and villages where ethnic Macedonians are the majority.
"They come here, surround our villages with tanks and stay here for weeks, sometimes months. They think we will get scared. Why don’t they do their training in Athens?", says an ethnic Macedonian from Ovcarani who also complained of the pollution the tanks caused to his crops.
They massed again on Wednesday to voice their discontent with intimidation by Greek army and the military exercise held near the villages populated with Macedonians.
Three special police units were dispatched at the site to thwart the protesters from entering the training site.
MD: Very interesting, this is probably the first time Macedonians in Greece are openly protesting against Greek harrasment in such a way.