Macedonia’s President refuses to sign agreement with Greece on renaming country

Sputnik , Wednesday 13 Jun 2018

Gjorge Ivanov
File Photo: Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov (Reuters)

The day before, Greece announced that the agreement with Skopje on the new constitutional name of the Republic of Macedonia had been finally agreed, which was due to put an end to the decade-long dispute between the countries.

During his address to the nation, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has made an announcement that he wouldn't sign a new name deal with Greece.

"This damaging treaty, unique in the history of mankind, is unworthy and unacceptable for me. It violates the constitution, laws, and destroys state institutions. I will not legalize this amateur political move," the president stated.

Earlier in the day, Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias warned that it was in Macedonia's interests to endorse the deal and thus clear the way for the country's possible EU accession, referring to the fact that the name issue has been blocking Skopje's aspirations to join NATO and the European Union for years.

On Tuesday, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that he had reached a deal with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the decades-long name issue, agreeing that Macedonia would be named the Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Makedonija in Macedonian.

Greece and Macedonia has been at loggerheads over a long-running dispute over the name of the Republic of Macedonia.

Greece regards "Macedonia" as a term referring only to one of its northern regions and the ancient Kingdom of Macedonia, and thus insists on the use of another name for its northern neighbour.

In the 1995 interim bilateral accord, Greece agreed that the term "the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia" (FYROM) would be applied to Macedonia until the dispute is settled.


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