Macedonia’s Parliament Approves Change in Country’s Name


The move could unblock the country's bids to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union, long blocked by Greece, which argues that "Macedonia" implied territorial claims to a Greek province of the same name. Macedonia - the Greek province, at least - is perhaps best known as the birthplace of Alexander the Great, whose empire reached from Greece to India.

"Today is a historic day for the country", Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said.

Macedonia's parliament has approved a proposal to change the country's name, bringing a decades-old dispute with Greece one step closer to being resolved.

Parliament voted 80-39 in favour of the proposal, which is key to accepting a deal with Greece that strives to unravel the 27-year dispute between the two countries.

Barely eking out the required majority and casting aside the failed popular referendum, Macedonia's parliament has approved the country's name change for the sake of a "brighter future" reserved for North Atlantic Treaty Organisation members.

Following Friday's vote, the amendment process must formally start within the next two weeks.

Amendments to the constitution incorporating the name change will be drafted, but another vote will be required to ensure the changes.

Turquía advierte no permitirá encubrimiento del asesinato de periodista
El periodista desapareció el pasado 2 de octubre tras entrar en el consultado saudí en Estambul . El reino saudí añadió que 18 hombres habían sido arrestados en relación al caso.

Earlier, Jens Stoltenberg, NATO Secretary General, stated that Macedonia would be invited to the negotiations on the membership in NATO right after the question of the renaming of the state is finally settled.

The EU's Vice President Federica Mogherini and Commissioner Johannes Hahn released a statement making the EU's support for the changes plain.

After the vote, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras Tweeted in English: "Congratulations my friend ZoranZaev!"

Several more votes will follow before the switch is confirmed.

The country said it would no longer block such moves if the name change went ahead.

"This is a truly unique opportunity for decisively moving the country forward on its European Union path as well as for reconciliation in the region". Greece has said its neighbor's current name implies claims on its own adjoining province of Macedonia, and on ancient Greek heritage.