Macedonia reaches name change deal with Greece

Share
Macedonia reaches name change deal with Greece

Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev hailed a "historic solution" today after Skopje and Athens resolved a longstanding row by agreeing to rename his country the Republic of North Macedonia.

"There is no way back", Zaev told a news conference after speaking with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras by telephone.

The Republic of Northern Macedonia is the new name of the former Yugoslav republic that PMs Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev have agreed on.

"Accepting the "Macedonian language" and the "Macedonian ethnicity" constitutes a non-acceptable national concession", he said in a video posted on his official Twitter account.

Macedonia will also amend its constitution to reflect the change.

While the debate over the name might seem trivial, Greece has gone as far as to block Macedonia from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation or the European Union because of its name.

Zaev said resolving the long-standing issue would open Macedonia's access to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union.

After a long and thorough diplomatic process, both sides have come to an agreement to the name Republic of North Macedonia or Severna Makedonija, in Macedonian.

Because of Greek objections, Macedonia was admitted to the United Nations under a provisional name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

Greece has long objected to its northern neighbour being called Macedonia because it has its own northern province of the same name.

Protests in Greece have existed for decades but were renewed earlier this year following UN-mediated talks between the two countries to try and resolve the issue that did not yield an agreement.

Zaev said the deal would be signed this weekend, and a voter referendum would be held in the fall. Hundreds of thousands of people gathered in several major Greek cities, including Thessaloniki and Athens, calling for "Macedonia" to remain Greek.

'This historic agreement is testament to many years of patient diplomacy, and to the willingness of these two leaders to solve a dispute which has affected the region for too long, ' NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. "I am keeping my fingers crossed".

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose right-wing Independent Greeks party is Tsipras' governing coalition partner, said he would oppose an agreement in a parliamentary vote, meaning the left-wing prime minister will need to seek support from political opponents.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras also confirmed that an agreement on the name has been reached.

"In essence, the (deal) is acceptance of all Greek positions", VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski said.

Greece is to ratify the deal in parliament after Macedonia has made the necessary changes to its constitution, Tsipras said.

Share

Advertisement

Related Posts

Online Casinos that Accept UK Players
Since the UK has grown to become a thriving gambling market, numerous gaming destinations have popped up that provide the service. Since the UK is regarded as the online gaming hub of the world, gamblers in the region are in no short supply of casino options.

Ariana Grande's engagement ring cost almost $100,000
When one fan said "I hope he knows he is marrying us as well", Grande replied with "HAHAHAHAHAHH HES BEEN BRIEFED" (sic). According to The Hollywood Reporter, Grande became engaged to Davidson after just a few weeks of dating.

Neymar goal caps impressive Brazil win over feisty Austria
It also holds the record of the best overall performance in World Cup , with a record of 70 victories in 104 matches played. The first scare came in the third minute following a late tackle from behind by midfielder Alessandro Schoepf.

Mercedes recalls hundreds of thousands of diesel cars over emissions "defeat devices"
German Transport Minister Andreas Scheuer summoned Zetsche after the KBA's discovery, even as Daimler disputes they were illegal. That said, it has pledged to remove the software and to cooperate with authorities, the ministry said.

World Cup 2018 opening ceremony performers, start time and how to watch
The World Cup opening ceremony will have a slightly different format compared to previous editions of the tournament. Brazil's two-time World Cup victor Ronaldo will also feature in a ceremony billed as consisting of a new format.

Jim Carrey crudely mocks Trump-Kim summit in latest 'artwork'
The DPRK and the United States have had no diplomatic relations since the 1950-53 Korean War. The North Korea leader added that the "world would see a major change".

Alec Baldwin: I Could 'Absolutely' Beat Trump in 2020
I mean, somebody great is gonna come up, I hope. "There are so many things that this country needs to do that are so obvious". Stern raised the question of Baldwin being the hope of the Democratic Party, which he quickly refuted.

Trump says Canadian leader Justin Trudeau 'learned' from trade comments
The Americans' criticism of Trudeau left a former Canadian prime minister, Stephen Harper, stumped. He had other things, bigger things, on his plate in Singapore.

North Korea state media says Trump agreed to lift sanctions against North
He said the U.S. is working on the issue with South Korea, and Japan-as well as with China, but "to a lesser extent". Trump said Tuesday the summit has helped bring the world back from "nuclear catastrophe".

Assad: Russia is not coordinated with Israeli ‘enemy’ in Syria
Iran and Hezbollah have been widely seen as instrumental to bolstering the success of Assad's forces throughout the war.

© 2015 ExpressNewsline. All Rights reserved.