Greece and Macedonia confirm 'historic' name deal

  • Greece and Macedonia confirm 'historic' name deal

Greece and Macedonia confirm 'historic' name deal

Tsipras' comments came shortly after a much-anticipated phone call with Zaev.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev said the former Yugoslav republic's new name for both domestic and global purposes would be Republic of North Macedonia.

Previous comments from the Macedonian side have indicated that solutions could involve adding a modifier to the country's official name, such as "Upper" or "Northern" to satisfy Athens, although nationalists in Macedonian have opposed such concessions.

Besides claiming it as part of its heritage, Greece also had a province bordering the new country with the same name and feared Skopje could harbour territorial ambitions.

The row has stymied Macedonian attempts to join the European Union and the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation military alliance in a region where the two organisations jostle for influence with Russian Federation.

"By solving the name question, we are becoming a member of North Atlantic Treaty Organisation".

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.

Macedonia has agreed to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia.

In a televised address, Tsipras said the 140 countries which had recognized the Balkan state simply as Macedonia would now recognize it as Republic of North Macedonia.

But Greeks seem cool to any deal involving the continued use of the name "Macedonia" by their northern neighbour.

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

"This historic agreement is testament to many years of patient diplomacy, and to the willingness of these two leaders to solve a dispute which has affected the region for too long", Stoltenberg said.

However, Mr Tsipras said, this will be contingent on Macedonia completing the constitutional changes.

The deal was welcomed by EU officials, with European Council president Donald Tusk tweeting his "sincere congratulations" to Mr Tsipras and Mr Zaev. I believe in the democracy of the internet and want to keep this site and its enriching content free for everyone. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a "philotimo subscriber".

After the final agreement has been reached, a joint statement for the Greek and Macedonian public is expected to be published.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras also confirmed that an agreement on the name has been reached.

Hristijan Mickoski, president of Macedonia's opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, said: "Today is a hard day for the Republic of Macedonia".

Mitsotakis earlier slammed the deal reached between Greece and FYROM, calling it a "bad deal" that recognizes a Macedonian ethnicity and language.

Greek opponents of the deal say it would not go far enough.