Athens, Skopje Reach Agreement on Constitutional Name of Macedonia

Macedonia and Greece reach agreement in name dispute

Macedonia and Greece reach agreement in name dispute

Greece and Macedonia have reached an historic accord to resolve a dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name that has troubled relations between the two neighbours for decades.

Mitsotakis said that Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras did not have any "political legitimacy" to commit the country to a deal that is not approved by his junior government coalition partner, the Independent Greeks (ANEL).

Zaev said that the name will be used both domestically and internationally, which should be confirmed by a constitutional amendment.

The nationality of the country's citizens will be listed on official documents in English as "Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia", Greek officials said.

That is because the Balkan nation will be holding a referendum later this year to officially change its name to the Northern Republic of Macedonia.

Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and heritage of the region, the birthplace of Alexander the Great.

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.

"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".


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.

Macedonia has just changed its name. and to be honest, we're all a little confused.

In September 1995 the neighbours signed an accord in NY opening the way for a normalisation of trade and political ties, but left the name dispute hanging. Both its language and people would continue to be known as Macedonian, he said.

Greece will then back invitations for Macedonia to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and start negotiations on joining the European Union.

Organizers of past rallies in Greece's main cities against a compromise with Macedonia also expressed outrage at the deal, with one accusing Tsipras of "high treason".

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted his "sincere congratulations" to Tsipras and Zaev. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a "philotimo subscriber".

In a statement, Nimetz congratulated the two prime ministers on reaching an agreement: "I have no doubt this agreement will lead to a period of enhanced relations between the two neighbouring countries and especially between their people". Athens say that name implies territorial claims on a northern Greek province of the same name.

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