Europe & UK

June 19, 2018

Macedonia signs ‘historic agreement’ with Greece to change its name


On June 17, Macedonia signed a ‘landmark agreement’ in a deal with Greece to change its name to North Macedonia, which if sanctioned, will settle a decades-old dispute and facilitate the enlargement of the European Union and NATO.

"This is a brave, historic and necessary step for our peoples," said Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, when signing the accord in the village of Psarades, the border of both nations.

"We are here to heal the wounds of time, to open a path for peace, brotherhood and growth for our countries, the Balkans and Europe," he said.

"Our two countries should step out of the past and look to the future," said Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. "Our peoples want peace... we will be partners and allies," he added.

For decades, Greece has been outraged over the former Yugoslav Republic’s use of the name Macedonia by United Nations, claiming it implies that it's coveting Greek territory and heritage. Macedonia was already the name of a northern region of Greece before the new Slavic nation adopted it.

Under the terms of the deal, the Macedonian constitution must be revised by the end of the year, before Greece's parliament is called to ratify it.

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