Macedonia will change its name after 27-year argument with Greece

Jun 13, 2018, 19:23
Macedonia will change its name after 27-year argument with Greece

The doors to further Western expansion in the Balkans have been thrown wide open by a seeming breakthrough on the Macedonia name dispute.

Mickoski charged that Prime Minister Zoran Zaev "capitulated" to Greece in making the deal.

Stoltenberg said: "This will set Skopje on its path to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation membership".

"The two countries have agreed to the name Republic of Northern Macedonia, as opposed to the current UN-recognized name 'Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", pending the approval of the Greek and Macedonian parliaments.

European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation officials have welcomed a deal between Greece and Macedonia resolving a decades-long dispute over the Balkan country's name.

The "historic agreement" contributes "to the transformation of the entire region of south-east Europe", the European Union enlargement commissioner and foreign affairs chief, Johannes Hahn and Federica Mogherini, said.

But the deal was applauded in Washington, at the United Nations, and by the European Union. "We strongly believe that at the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit on 12 July in Brussels, Macedonia will receive an invitation for membership".

"We are proud that this historic agreement was reached while two progressive governments are running both of the countries", PES president Sergei Stanishev said.

North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union officials welcomed the breakthrough, which North Atlantic Treaty Organisation secretary general Jens Stoltenberg said would help to consolidate regional peace and stability.

His comment on the "wider Western Balkans" came amid Western concern that Russian Federation is prepared to use dirty tricks to hold back progress.

According to The Wall Street Journal, many Greek nationalists may still continue to fight the battle over Macedonia's name, and "reject any non-Hellenic claim to the name, even in a composite form".

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also declared a deal had been struck.

In Greece, Tsipras' conservative rival Kyriakos Mitsotakis also denounced the deal as a "bad agreement".

Tsipras said that the agreement would specify that Macedonia's language is of Slavic origin.

Just to make things confusing, when it became a member of the United Nations in 1993, it had to be given an alternative provisional name of the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", which was purely because of the ongoing dispute with Greece.

Tsipras says the name would be used by the country both domestically and internationally.

In February, as NPR's Joanna Kakassis reported, more than 140,000 Greeks marched to parliament in Athens as part of a "Macedonia is Greece" rally, chanting that the name "is in our soul".

"The name change will be implemented not only in the country's global relations but also domestically", Tsipras added, laying down the conditions.

Honest congratulations to PM @tsipras_eu and PM @Zoran_Zaev. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone.

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