Macedonia and Greece: Deal after 27-year row over a name

Greece has reached a deal on the name of its northern neighbour, which called itself Macedonia at the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

After 27 years of talks – and many protests – they have settled on the name Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Makedonija in Macedonian.

Greece had objected to the name Macedonia, fearing territorial claims on its eponymous northern region.

It had vetoed the neighbour’s bid to join Nato and the European Union.

The new name will now need to be approved by the Macedonian people and Greek parliament.

What’s the solution?

Under the deal, the country known at the United Nations as Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom) will be named Severna Makedonija, or Republic of North Macedonia.

Its language will be Macedonian and its people known as Macedonians (citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia).

Significantly, they agreed that the new name would be used both internationally and bilaterally, so that even the 140 or more countries that recognise the name Macedonia will also have to adopt North Macedonia.

They also agreed that the English name could be used as well as the Slavic term.

Image caption Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev gave details of the deal in a live address from the capital Skopje …

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