ATHENS – Greece Tuesday warned its nationals to take “particular attention” when visiting the neighboring country of Macedonia after a vandalism attack on a Greek tourist group over the weekend.
“Greek citizens are encouraged…to take measures of particular attention and prudence concerning the safety of their persons and property whilst staying or passing from (Macedonia),” the Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement.
The warning came two days after Greek tourists complained of an attack by Macedonian youths who allegedly spray-painted anti-Greek slogans on their buses and threw objects at them. A Greek man was slightly injured in the leg in the attack, reports said.
Greece and Macedonia have been at loggerheads for over a decade over the right to the name of Macedonia – which is shared by a northern Greek province – since the former Yugoslav republic proclaimed independence in 1991.
Last April, Greece used its veto to block an invitation for Skopje to join the North Atlantic Treaty Organization and has been threatening to prevent Macedonia’s integration into the European Union.
Talks held under U.N. auspices have failed to break the deadlock.