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Macedonia name dispute: PMs watch as ministers sign 'historic' deal

June 17, 2018 4:03 pm

Greece and Macedonia have signed a deal that aims to settle a decades-long dispute over Macedonia’s name.

Under the agreement, Greece’s neighbour will be known as North Macedonia.

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras said it was “a brave, historic and necessary step for our peoples”.

Heated rows over Macedonia’s name have been going on since the break-up of the former Yugoslavia, of which it was a part, and have held up Macedonia’s entry to Nato and the EU.

Greece has long argued that by using the name Macedonia, its neighbour was implying it had a claim on the northern Greek province also called Macedonia.

Full story: What’s the name row about?
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The two countries’ leaders announced the deal on Tuesday and have pressed ahead despite protests.

Mr Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev watched as their foreign ministers signed the deal on Lake Prespa on Greece’s northern border on Sunday.

The agreement still needs to be approved by both parliaments and by a referendum in Macedonia.

Nationalists on both sides say it erodes their identity.

On Saturday Mr Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote over the deal amid accusations he made too many concessions.