Greek opposition calls censure vote to block Macedonia deal

New Macedonia Name Ends Dispute With Greece But Will Macedonian President Sign

Greek opposition calls censure vote to block Macedonia deal

Opponents in Greece objected to any use of the term "Macedonia" in their northern neighbor's name, fearing territorial claims and seeing the use of the name as a usurping of Greece's ancient heritage.

The possibility of Macedonia joining the European Union edged a step closer after it agreed to change its name to end a 27-year dispute with Greece.

The Macedonian president on Wednesday called the agreement reached Tuesday on the name dispute with Greece as "harmful" for Macedonia, and declared that he would not sign it.

A protest has been held in Skopje against an announced agreement with Greece to change the country's name to "the Republic of North Macedonia".

The deal has been agreed upon by prime ministers from both nations, and is expected to be signed by their respective foreign ministers in the coming days. This is a bad deal with unacceptable national concession: "for the first time Greece recognizes the Macedonian ethnicity and language", - said the opposition leader.

Bulgaria needed firm guarantees that the Treaty of Friendship, Good-neighbourliness and Cooperation, signed between Macedonia and Bulgaria in 2017, would remain fully in force when the country had the Republic of North Macedonia as a neighbour, said Radev.

Greece's Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his counterpart in Macedonia/FYROM Zoran Zaev have agreed that the new hybrid name of "North Macedonia" will be used for both domestic and worldwide purposes.

Tsipras has said he does not expect that to happen. However, Tsipras said, this will be contingent on Macedonia completing the constitutional changes. Such a refusal would delay the implementation of the deal, which is expected to be signed this weekend. The U.S. State Department, in a telegraph from December 1944, called the designation "unjustified demagoguery representing no ethnic or political reality" and said it might be a front for aggression toward Greece.

European Union officials have been brokering talks between Serbia and its former province of Kosovo, whose 2008 declaration of independence Belgrade does not recognize.

Tsipras is to brief parliament tomorrow on the agreement he brokered with his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev after months of intensive talks between diplomats.

Romania and the Republic of Macedonia established diplomatic relations in 1992, one year after the formation of the independent state of Macedonia.

Greece and Macedonia reached an historic agreement Tuesday to end a bitter 27-year name dispute that had kept the smaller and younger country out of worldwide institutions such as North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, the two countries' prime ministers announced.

In Athens, Tsipras faced a direct challenge to his left-led coalition government's survival after main opposition New Democracy submitted a motion later Thursday for a no-confidence vote. A breakthrough was reached after a change of government in Macedonia, with Zaev taking over past year following a decade of rule by conservative Nikola Gruevski.

He also ruled out a Greek referendum on the name-change.

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