Macedonian MPs voted in favour of adopting a name-change deal with Greece, in Skopje on Friday, which will see the country’s name change to ‘Republic of Northern Macedonia’, in a bid to settle a long-lasting dispute on the matter with Greece.
A total of 81 MPs voted in favour of the deal, with no votes against, nor abstentions. Nationalist opposition VMRO DPMNE party did not participate in the procedure.
Meanwhile outside the parliament, some 200 nationalist protesters braved the weather in the Macedonian capital, voicing out their revolt against what they perceive as ‘selling the identity’ of the country.
Athens and Skopje reached a name deal under which the former Yugoslav republic would be known as the Republic of North Macedonia, but the agreement has sparked protests in both countries.
Many in Greece have seen the name ‘Macedonia’ as posing a threat to the Greek state, arguing that it implies a territorial claim over the eponymous region of northern Greece.
The naming dispute dates back to Macedonia’s declaration of independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. As a result, international organisations and states that do not recognise the constitutional name ‘Republic of Macedonia’ refer to it as ‘the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’ (FYROM).
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