Skopje government moves to rename country North Macedonia

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Macedonian government passed a plan for the implementation of the so-called Prespa deal with Greece to change the country’s name to North Macedonia and re-launch its efforts to join the EU and NATO, the Beta news agency reported on Wednesday.

The move followed both Greek and Macedonian parliaments’ endorsement of the agreement signed by the prime ministers of Macedonia and Greece last June.

Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras agreed to end the 27-year-old name dispute which prevented Macedonia from applying for NATO and European Union membership.

Wednesday’s decision obliges all state institutions at home and abroad to formally change the county’s name into North Macedonia in both Macedonian and Albanian, seven days after Athens clears Skopje’s NATO membership bid.

Both prime ministers have faced bitter resistance to the deal by hard-line nationalists at home, while the EU praised them for courage to overcome long-standing divisions. The bloc described the agreement as historic, and called it the greatest political success in the Western Balkans in 2018.

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