Macedonia and Greece reach agreement on "Northern Macedonia"

Remigio Civitarese
Giugno 13, 2018

'There is an agreement. We have a historic solution after two and a half decades. "There is no way back", Zaev told a news conference.

He added that Macedonia "cannot and will not be able in the future to claim any connection with the ancient Greek civilisation of Macedonia".

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

We have a good agreement that covers all of the conditions put forth by the Greek side.

Tsipras said in a televised statement that Macedonia's name change would allow a clear distinction between Greece's province of Macedonia and the neighbouring country.

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted his "sincere congratulations" to Tsipras and Zaev.

'I am keeping my fingers crossed, ' he said.

The new name will need to be approved by the Macedonian people and the Greek parliament, but by the sounds of things it's a goer.

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.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Macedonia and Greece reach agreement in name dispute
Macedonia agrees to new name after 27-year dispute with Greece

Zaev said that the definition of the country's language will remain "Macedonian", as Skopje insisted in the talks. He added that a meeting between the two could take place.

He is close to a nationalist party which was defeated by Zaev in elections past year.

This year there have been several protests against an agreement in Skopje, as well as in Athens and Greece's second city of Thessaloniki in the north.

This is according to the Greek media, Tanjug reported on Tuesday.

Greece's parliament will be called to ratify the agreement after Macedonian lawmakers approve it, provided that Skopje fulfils preliminary European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation requirements to begin membership talks, Kotzias said. A North Atlantic Treaty Organisation summit is scheduled for mid-July.

"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", Stoltenberg said.

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

The EU's enlargement commissioner Johannes Hahn and foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini responded with an enthusiastic welcome for the agreement.

Greece regards "Macedonia" as a term referring only to one of its northern regions and the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, and insists on the use of another name for its northern neighbor.

In Skopje meanwhile, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said earlier in the day that he remained opposed to a constitutional change that would likely be included in the draft deal, to provide an assurance that the name change was permanent and binding for domestic and worldwide use.

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