Saturday 22 September 2018

Macedonian parliament ratifies deal with Greece over name dispute

Politicians approved the bill that renames the country North Macedonia, with 69 votes in favour in the 120-member parliament.

People protest against the deal (Boris Grdanoski/AP)
People protest against the deal (Boris Grdanoski/AP)

By Associated Press Reporter

Macedonia’s parliament has ratified a deal with neighbouring Greece signed last weekend to end a decades-long dispute over Macedonia’s name.

Politicians approved the bill that renames the country North Macedonia, with 69 votes in favour in the 120-member parliament.

The main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party boycotted the session.

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Macedonian PM Zoran Zeav speaks during a session for the ratification of the deal with Greece in the parliament in Skopje (Boris Grdanoski/AP)

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told politicians that Skopje and Athens have reached a “dignified and acceptable” agreement for both countries.

The dispute dates from shortly after Macedonia declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991.

Greece argued the name “Macedonia” implied territorial aspirations on its own northern province of the same name, birthplace of the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great, and on ancient Greek heritage.

Press Association

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