SUNDAY TIMES WEB DESK: The violence flared as Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras attempts to face down a political storm over his championing of a landmark agreement with Macedonia aimed at ending a 27-year dispute with Athens over the country’s name.

Twenty-five police officers were hurt in the protests, according to a statement from the Greek citizens’ protection ministry, while a first aid station said two protesters were hospitalised with breathing difficulties.

Police estimates put the number of demonstrators at 60,000 while organisers said 100,000 people had arrived for the rally, with hundreds of buses bringing demonstrators, especially from the region of northern Greece that also claims the Macedonia name.

Scuffles broke out after about 30 masked youths tried to force the closure of the parliament building, throwing stones and other projectiles. Riot police responded with volleys of tear gas, dispersing the crowd outside the legislature.