Greek businessman denies involvement in Macedonia protests

NEWS 17.07.2018 18:42
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AFP/Sakis Mitrolidis

Greece-based Russian businessman Ivan Savidis on Tuesday denied claims that he was involved in the protests against the deal reached by Athens and Skoplje to change the name of Greece’s northern neighbour to North Macedonia.

Savidis’ Dimera Group issued a statement saying that the businessman had nothing to do with the protests in Macedonia.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told the BuzzFeed portal on Monday that a pro-Russian Greek businessman had paid thousands of Euros to a number of people to launch violent protests prior to a crucial referendum on the agreement which is a condition for Macedonia to join NATO and start negotiations with the European Union.

The Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (occrp.org) said on its web site on Monday that Macedonian Internal Affairs Ministry documents seen by the Investigative Reporting Lab Macedonia showed that at least 300,000 Euros were given to opponents of the agreement by Ivan Savvidis, a Russian businessman and former MP now living in Greece.