Macedonian celebrations irk Greece

Statue of Alexander the Great, unveiled to mark 20 years of independence, stokes neighbourly tensions.

    It has been 20 years since the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia gained independence - and as thousands celebrate, the festivities are stirring controversy at home and abroad.

    Greece, which has always opposed its neighbour's use of the name Macedonia over concerns it may have designs on the Greek region of the same name, is now objecting to a $7 million statue of military conqueror Alexander the Great, who both countries claim as their own.

    It says Skopje is forging history, by stealing Greek names and national heroes, while some Macedonian citizens believe such extravagant gestures are better spent on helping the poor.

    Al Jazeera's Claudio Lavanga reports from Skopje, the Macedonian capital.

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera


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