News / UK and world by Press Association June 17, 2018, 12:24 pm FacebookTwitterLinkedInWhatsAppEmail Sign up to our Daily newsletter Greece and Macedonia have signed a deal that, if ratified, will resolve a decades-old dispute concerning Macedonia’s name. Under the agreement, Greece’s northern neighbour will be renamed North Macedonia, a move the two countries’ leaders said would be the beginning of closer, friendly relations and an example to all Balkan nations. The deal will also allow Macedonia to try to join Nato and the European Union. The two countries’ prime ministers, Greece’s Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia’s Zoran Zaev, attended the signing of the deal on Sunday by the two countries’ foreign ministers, Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov. Also at the ceremony were UN under-secretary for political affairs Rosemary DiCarlo, the UN mediator for the name dispute, Matthew Nimetz, EU foreign affairs chief Federica … [Read more...] about Greece and Macedonia sign deal to end decades-long name dispute
Greece to macedonia
Greece and Macedonia have taken a major step towards resolving a 27-year-old dispute over the latter's name by signing an agreement that would see Macedonia change its name to the Republic of Northern Macedonia. The signing of the deal in the small fishing village of Psarades on Sunday comes a day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote over his handling of the dispute. Opposition MPs, who accuse Tsipras of excessive compromise on the issue, failed to pass the no-confidence motion by 153 votes to 127 on Saturday. That attempt came a day after an MP from the far-right Golden Dawn party delivered a fierce rant urging the army to overthrow Tsipras. Outside of parliament, police fired tear gas to disperse protesters marching against the agreement. Security is intense at Sunday's venue, with police cordons in place many miles from the village. Anybody seeking to approach has to pass through successive identity checks. Greek Foreign Minister Nikos … [Read more...] about Greece and Macedonia sign agreement on name change
The prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia say they have agreed on "Republic of Northern Macedonia" as the new name for the Balkan country, ending an acrimonious 27-year dispute. Greece's Alexis Tsipras and Macedonia's Zoran Zaev made the announcements shortly after speaking by phone. The new name will be used both domestically and internationally, while Macedonia will also amend its constitution as part of the deal. Greece had long demanded that Macedonia change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece's northern region of Macedonia - birthplace of ancient warrior king Alexander the Great. The dispute over the “Macedonia” name had been a thorn in relations of the two countries at least since 1991, when Macedonia broke away from former Yugoslavia, declaring its independence under the name Republic of Macedonia. The row has stymied Macedonian attempts to join the European Union and the NATO military alliance in a region where the … [Read more...] about Greece and Macedonia solve bitter 27-year name row
Thousands of Greeks protested Wednesday in main cities around the country against attempts to solve a festering 27-year name row with Macedonia, reportedly now close to a deal. Around 2,000 people gathered in Pella, the historic capital of the ancient Macedonian kingdom, birthplace of Alexander the Great, an AFP reporter said. Organisers had hoped for over twice that number. "We invite our neighbours, who are ignorant of history, to come to (our) museums and archaeological sites and discover that Macedonia is Greek," Halkidona mayor Ioannis Tsouknidas told the crowd. "I think the government will be pressured by the protests and will not proceed to an agreement," said Katerina Karamouza, a 60-year-old wearing traditional folk garb to the demonstration. The protests, organised by a committee backed by Greek diaspora, clerics and local mayors associations, were likewise held in over a dozen cities in the northern Greek region of Macedonia. "(Zoran) Zaev, you can only be born Macedonian. … [Read more...] about Thousands protest in Greece against Macedonia name deal
For over two decades Macedonia has resisted Greek pressure to change its name. But that could now change. There are three reasons. First, Macedonia has a new prime minister, Zoran Zaev, who is a liberal and pro-European. He aims to strengthen Macedonia’s EU and international ties: he has arranged a treaty with Bulgaria and opened serious discussions with Greece over the name dispute – the largest obstacle to Macedonia’s membership of NATO and the EU, and to a bigger international role. Second, Macedonia has been independent for over 20 years and has now established its own institutions and infrastructure. Back in 1993, there was a real danger that Macedonia could fall back under Yugoslavia or disintegrate, so it was essential to have a coherent national narrative as a rallying point for the nascent country. That has been achieved. So the old national history of Alexander the Great, though still important, is no longer crucial for Macedonia’s political survival. … [Read more...] about A way forward for Greece and Macedonia?