techkenyot.com
techkenyot.com February 19, 2019


Macedonia changes its name to end bitter 27-year dispute with Greece

13 June 2018, 12:42 | Glen Norman

Officials in Albania are hailing the agreement between bordering Greece and Macedonia to end their decades-long name dispute as good for the whole Western Balkans region.

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

"Today is a hard day for the Republic of Macedonia".

"This is a bad agreement that is in conflict with the majority of the Greek people", he said.

Both Albania and Macedonia hope to launch full membership negotiations with the European Union.

They also urged the Council to endorse opening EU accession talks with Macedonia, which the European Commission recommended in April. The name issue has been blocking Skopje's aspirations to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union for years. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a "philotimo subscriber".

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European Union foreign affairs chief Federica Mogherini and commissioner Johannes Hahn issued a joint statement congratulating the two prime ministers "in reaching this historic agreement between their countries, which contributes to the transformation of the entire region of southeast Europe".

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.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras leaves the Presidential Palace following his meeting with Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos (not pictured) in Athens, Greece, June 12, 2018.

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

Greece's Macedonia is a northern region that includes the country's second city, Thessaloniki, whereas Macedonia's Macedonia is, well, a country.

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said Tuesday that a deal had been reached to give Macedonia a different name, addressing all of Greece's concerns.

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Skopje also needs to revise its constitution, Tsipras said, before Greece ratifies the deal. He did not, however, spell out what the name will be.

The row between Athens and Skopje has been ongoing since 1991, when Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia and declared its independence.

Because of the reference to the conqueror, "previous Greek governments have claimed that the Republic of Macedonia- tiny, impoverished, and with virtually no military might - also has territorial designs on its province", NPR adds.

Most opposition parties have criticised Tsipras's tactics, and even his coalition partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks, have said they will not back an accord that allows the continued use of "Macedonia".

The 27-year dispute has led to frequent disagreement and protests, but the two countries agreed on the new title of the former Yugoslav republic after months of intensive diplomacy.

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