01.10.2022

In Macedonia protest against the renaming of the country

At least 10 people were injured during protests in the capital of Macedonia, 11 were arrested by the police. Residents of Skopje staged a demonstration against the renaming of the country.A mass protest was held in the Macedonian capital Skopje on Sunday, June 17. The protesters objected to the name North, the Republic of Macedonia, which Greece has undertaken to recognize a neighboring state. During the protests clashed with police.

According to media reports, at least 10 people have sought help from doctors, including 7 police officers. At least 11 demonstrators were detained by militiamen.

During the protests, the protesters tore down fencing lattice near the Parliament building and began to pelt police with stones and firecrackers. In turn, the police used against the demonstrators with tear gas and stun grenades. “Downtown looks like a little Beirut,” reported the Macedonian TV channel 1TV, whose operator was injured during the protests.

Criticism of the renaming of Macedonia and Greece

Previously, on 17 June, Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev and the head of the Greek government Alexis Tsipras signed a preliminary agreement on the new name of Macedonia. The agreement will enter into force after it is approved by the parliaments of both countries. In addition, Macedonia will hold a referendum on the question of renaming.

However, the compromise name is criticized not only in Macedonia but also in Greece. The opposition Greek party “New democracy” was required to impose a vote of no confidence in the government of Tsipras, however, in the course of voting, the Parliament narrowly rejected the initiative.

The dispute about Macedonia started in 1991

The dispute around the name of the state Macedonia emerged in 1991 after the independence of this former Yugoslav Republic. The cause of the conflict lies in the presence in the Greek region of Macedonia.

Athens fear that in case of fixation of the name “Macedonia” for the neighboring country of Skopje may make territorial claims on the Greek region. Because of this, the official name of Macedonia to the United Nations in 1993 is the phrase “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, but Greece is blocking Skopje’s accession to the European Union and NATO.

The government of Macedonia has approved a bill to rename the country

Monday, June 18, the government of the Republic of Macedonia approved the bill on ratification of the agreement with Greece, which envisages changing the country’s name (RM).

The decision in Skopje adopted at the 74th regular session of the Cabinet of Ministers, said on the Agency’s website.

The document is intended “to resolve differences described in the resolutions of the UN security Council №817(1991) and 845 (1993)”.

The bill was promoted by the Ministry of foreign Affairs of Macedonia.

Further, the draft law on the ratification of the new name of the country will be presented to the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia.

Athens and Skopje signed an agreement on the new name of Macedonia

In the preliminary agreement, Greece pledged to recognize the neighboring country under the name Republic of North Macedonia. The document will come into force if it is approved by the parliaments of both countries.Athens and Skopje on Sunday, June 17, signed a preliminary agreement in which Greece pledged to recognize the neighboring country under the name Republic of North Macedonia. The document was signed by Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev and the head of the Greek government Alexis Tsipras.

At the ceremony, which took place at the Greek Prespa lake, was also attended by the foreign Ministers of the two States, the EU high representative for foreign Affairs and security policy Federica Mogherini, European Commissioner for enlargement and neighbourhood policy Johannes Hahn (Johannes Hahn) and the UN.

The agreement will enter into force after it is approved by the parliaments of both countries. In addition, Macedonia will hold a referendum on the question of renaming. The signing of the document will allow Greece and Macedonia “together to enter the era of regional stability and prosperity,” Tsipras wrote in the microblog Twitter.

According to Zoran zaeva, the decision of the Greek side will preserve their ethnic and cultural identity of Macedonia.

Greece and Macedonia have reached an agreement that puts an end to years of dispute about the name of a small Balkan country. This was stated by Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras.

“I have good news… once we have reached agreement with the Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in the question that has occupied our thoughts for many years.

We have an agreement and I’m happy because we have an agreement covering all conditions set by the Greek side,” – said Tsipras.

We will note, before the Greek Prime Minister held talks with his Macedonian counterpart Saranam by Sevim.

The dispute began in 1991

The dispute around the name of the state Macedonia emerged in 1991 after the independence of this former Yugoslav Republic. The cause of the conflict lies in the presence in the Greek region of Macedonia.

Athens fear that in case of fixation of the name “Macedonia” for the neighboring country of Skopje may make territorial claims on the Greek region. Because of this, the official name of Macedonia to the United Nations in 1993 is the phrase “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, but Greece is blocking Skopje’s accession to the European Union and NATO.

The Macedonian President rejected an agreement on renaming the country

Macedonian President George Ivanov declared that will not sign an agreement with Greece about renaming his country to Northern Macedonia.

Ivanov voiced his position on Wednesday, June 13, noting that he did not intend to sign the agreement because it violates the Constitution and laws of the country. In addition, Ivanov said such a compromise with the Greek side no more than “a personal decision” of the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran zaeva and foreign Minister of Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov, for which they should bear “personal responsibility”.

On 12 June the Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras said the agreement with Macedonia regarding the new name of this country that would solve a longstanding dispute between the two States.

According to the agreement reached between the Prime Ministers of Greece and Macedonia, the latter should be renamed the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

As recalled by AP, it is expected that the foreign Ministers of the two countries will sign an agreement this weekend. After this, the Macedonian Parliament must approve it, and then need the signature of President Gjorge Ivanov.

At the same time, the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev already announced that in the fall of 2018, the country will hold a referendum on the issue of renaming of the state in Northern Macedonia.

In Macedonia, held mass protests against the renaming of the country

Up to 50 thousands of Macedonians protest in Skopje against the plans of the authorities to hold a referendum on changing the country’s name. This involved a long dispute with Greece, where there is the homonymous region.In the capital of Macedonia Skopje on Saturday evening, June 2, passed a many thousands protest action against renaming of the country. The demonstration was organized by opposition party VMRO-DPMNE.

According to local media, the protests have involved between 30 to 50 thousand people. Earlier this week, 30 may, the Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev announced the intention to hold a referendum on the new name of the state. He added that multi-year dispute with neighboring Greece about the naming of Macedonia reached “fundamental agreement”. Among the options for new names appear the following options: Ilindenska Macedonia Gorna (Upper) Macedonia, Severna (Northern) Macedonia, Macedonia-Skopje.

The dispute over the naming of Macedonia emerged in 1991 after the independence of this former Yugoslav Republic. The cause of the conflict lies in the fact that in the Greek there is a region of Macedonia, which occupies a quarter of the area of the state. Athens fear that in case of fixation of the name Macedonia for the neighboring country of Skopje may make territorial claims on the Greek region. Because of the Greek position, official name of Macedonia to the United Nations in 1993 – “the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, but Greece is blocking its entry into the EU and NATO, said the Agency AFP.

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