The governments of Greece and its neighbouring country Macedonia have reached an agreement on the name of the latter to end a decades-long dispute that has blocked Macedonia’s aspirations to become part of NATO and the European Union.
British public broadcaster BBC reports that after 27 years of talks – and many protests – they have settled on the name Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Makedonija in Macedonian dropping the name the country is referred to in the UN, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
The new name will now need to be voted on by the Macedonian people and the Greek parliament. The language used in the country, will be called Macedonian and its people called Macedonians.
The name Macedonia already belongs to a northern region of Greece that includes the country’s second city Thessaloniki. By adopting the same identity in 1991, the new Slavic nation infuriated many Greeks, who suspected their northern neighbour of territorial ambitions and Athens have since vetoed the neighbour’s aspirations to become part of the NATO military alliance and the European Union.