Greece, Macedonia reach deal to end name dispute

Lester Mason
June 12, 2018

"The name change will be implemented not only the country's worldwide relations but also domestically", Tsipras said adding that Skopje would need to revise its constitution.

Greece argued that by calling itself Republic of Macedonia the neighboring country was stating a territorial claim of the Greek northern province, also called Macedonia.

"We wholeheartedly congratulate Prime Ministers Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev for their determination and leadership in reaching this historic agreement", said EU foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and European Commissioner for Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn in a joint statement.

The nationality of the country's citizens will be listed on official documents as "Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of Macedonia". Greek opponents of the deal say modifying the name would not go far enough.

"We have been solving a two-and-a-half decade dispute. that has been drowning the country", he said, adding that the deal "will strengthen the Macedonian identity".

The dispute has poisoned relations between the two neighbors since Macedonia's independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.


"I have good news. a while ago we reached an agreement with the Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on an issue which has been on our minds for many years", Mr Tsipras told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a televised meeting.

Due to the name dispute, Greece has vetoed all of attempts by Skopje to join both the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

The proposed name change has been resisted by sections of the Macedonian public.

Greece and Macedonia reached an agreement Tuesday to end a bitter 27-year name dispute that had kept the smaller and younger country out of worldwide institutions such as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the two countries' prime ministers announced. The country was also accepted to the United Nations in 1993 as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

They also urged the Council to endorse opening EU accession talks with Macedonia, which the European Commission recommended in April.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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