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Macedonia's new name is ridiculous

13 June 2018, 12:47 | Devin Moran

Macedonia and Greece reach agreement in name dispute

Greece, Macedonia 'Have A Deal' On Name Dispute

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves the Presidential Palace following his meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (not pictured) in Athens, Greece, June 12, 2018.

"The name [will be] the Republic of North Macedonia translated into all languages for general use", Zaev said, as aired by the Macedonian TV channels.

There was no immediate comment from Macedonian officials.

European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials, meanwhile, welcomed the announcement from Tsipras and Zaev, calling it a "historic" deal.

The row dates back to 1991 when Macedonia declared independence but Greece has long objected to its neighbour's constitutional name - the Republic of Macedonia - because it fears it could imply territorial ambitions. There were also rallies in Macedonia in spring, demanding the country's name to be left in place.

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

The accord still requires ratification by the two national parliaments and a referendum in Macedonia, a tough test for the leaders in both countries.

Bulgaria, holder of the EU's rotating six-month presidency said the deal paved the way for accession talks.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Tuesday that a deal had been reached to give Macedonia a different name, addressing all of Greece's concerns.

The prime minister of Greece says his country has reached an agreement with Macedonia to end a decades-old dispute over the neighboring country's name.

"There is no way back", Zaev said in a news conference.




Greece, an European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, has also cited the dispute to veto Macedonia's bid to join the two organizations. "I am keeping my fingers crossed".

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted his support for the agreement: "Thanks to you the impossible is becoming possible".

They said they looked forward to accession negotiations beginning with Skopje in June.

The prime ministers of Macedonia and Greece agreed that it would be known as the "Republic of Northern Macedonia" if the proposal receives the necessary approvals from Macedonia's lawmakers and voters.

A bronze statue of Alexander the Great can be seen in the northern port city of Thessaloniki, Greece.

In a nutshell, Greek people felt like the name belonged to them because it ties in with the country's heritage and the Macedon Kingdom - the king of which was Alexander the Great, who you'll have heard of.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose right-wing Independent Greeks party is Tsipras' government partner, said Tuesday he would oppose an agreement in a parliamentary vote. The new name will be used both domestically and internationally, while Macedonia will also amend its constitution as part of the deal.

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

"This is a bad agreement that is in conflict with the majority of the Greek people", he said. It also has to be ratified by both Macedonian and Greek parliaments.

"He was Skopje's best negotiator", Michael Patsikas told The Associated Press.



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