World: MPs agree historic name change for Macedonia - PressFrom - US

WorldMPs agree historic name change for Macedonia

01:40  12 january  2019
01:40  12 january  2019 Source:

Greek PM defends Macedonia deal ahead of confidence vote

Greek PM defends Macedonia deal ahead of confidence vote Greece's prime minister is defending his deal to normalize relations with neighboring Macedonia ahead of a confidence vote in parliament after his governing coalition collapsed over the agreement. Addressing lawmakers Tuesday, Alexis Tsipras said he chose to end the 27-year dispute over Macedonia's name, seizing "a great opportunity" despite the potential political cost to his government. Tsipras is expected to narrowly win the vote late Wednesday. In that case, he proposes within days to seek parliamentary ratification of the agreement with Macedonia.

ATHENS — Macedonia agreed to change its name to resolve a decades-old dispute with Greece, the two countries said on Tuesday, and Greece said it He called it a “ historic moment for the Balkans and our nations” and said it “opens a window to solidarity, friendship, cooperation, prosperity and

If MPs agree to the strategic state being rechristened North Macedonia Zaev has staked his future on the name - change deal reached with Athens earlier this year. Ahead of the ballot, Zaev said the vote marked a historic opportunity for the former communist country to be embraced by the west.

MPs agree historic name change for Macedonia© Provided by AFP Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said now it was up to the Greek parliament to approve the agreement on their side

Macedonian politicians voted on Friday to change the country's name to "Republic of North Macedonia", settling a decades-long row with Greece and paving the way for NATO and EU membership.

Parliamentary speaker Talad Xhaferi said 81 MPs had voted in favor of the name change in the 120-seat chamber, securing the required two-thirds majority.

Greek parliament gears up for midnight confidence vote

Greek parliament gears up for midnight confidence vote Greek lawmakers are gearing up for a confidence vote in the leftwing government, which lost its parliamentary majority after its coalition partner walked out to protest a deal to normalize relations with neighboring Macedonia. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is expected to narrowly survive the ballot at midnight Wednesday, backed by independent lawmakers and some lawmakers from his former coalition partner who propose to go against the party line.

Greek and Macedonian PMs settle on the name Republic of North Macedonia . “They have agreed to rename their country the Republic of North Macedonia , a change Nato’s secretary general, Jens Stoltenberg, was among the first to welcome what he described as a historic agreement and urged

The name North Macedonia could end a 27-year dispute with Greece and clear the way for Nato and EU membership. Macedonians are voting in a referendum on Sunday, which may result in the former Yugoslav republic changing its name to North Macedonia .

But the name will also have to approved by the Greek parliament before it comes into effect.

Ahead of the Macedonian vote, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev had emphasized the historic importance of the decision.

"Without the accord with Greece, there will be neither NATO nor EU" membership, Zaev said.

"I changed my opinion on the name issue in the name of progress and at the cost of my political career," he added.

Athens has promised to lift its veto on Skopje's attempts to join NATO and the European Union on condition Macedonia changes its name.

Greece has blocked the path to both international organizations since Macedonia broke away from the former Yugoslavia in 1991 because, it said, the name Macedonia should apply solely to its own northern province.

Greek PM to face confidence vote after Macedonia row

Greek PM to face confidence vote after Macedonia row Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras headed into a confidence vote Wednesday with his political future on the line after a row over a landmark name deal with Macedonia sunk his four-year coalition. Tsipras is expected to win the vote in parliament, which will be held after midnight, but the subsequent fate of his government is less clear. His Syriza party has 145 lawmakers in the 300-seat chamber, and he can survive even with 120 votes if enough MPs abstain. Tsipras is expected to secure at least 151 votes thanks to the backing of a number of independent MPs.

Leaders sign historic accord that will lead to country becoming Republic of North Macedonia By agreeing to rename itself the Republic of North Macedonia the country will replace an interim With the adoption of its new name , Macedonia will not only assume a new title, it will ultimately change

The use of the name " Macedonia " is disputed between the southeastern European countries of Greece and the Republic of Macedonia , formerly a state within Yugoslavia.

For the Greeks, Macedonia evokes national pride as the cradle of Alexander the Great's ancient empire.

- Opposition boycott -

Friday's vote brought an end to months of political bickering in Macedonia that included a controversial consultative referendum in September and a long parliamentary battle.

Officials of the main opposition conservative VMRO-DPMNE party, who refused to take part in the parliamentary debate, denounced the name change as treason.

MPs agree historic name change for Macedonia© Provided by AFP Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev addressed the parliament in Skopje after the vote to change the country's name

However several opposition MPs broke ranks and voted for the change, alongside the ruling Social Democratic party and their junior coalition partners from the ethnic Albanian minority.

Notably the outcome was enabled thanks to four MPs who received an amnesty for their alleged roles in the violent storming of parliament in April 2017.

Greeks rally against Macedonia name accord, police fire tear gas

Greeks rally against Macedonia name accord, police fire tear gas Greeks rally against Macedonia name accord, police fire tear gas

Macedonia 's vote on changing its name to North Macedonia looks to have fallen far short of the Athens had agreed to end its objections to Macedonia 's EU and Nato membership bids if the "The vote of the MPs in parliament must resolutely be a vote for a responsible acceleration of the

Welcome to North Macedonia : parliament votes for name change . Kammenos claimed that opposition MPs in Skopje had only agreed to support the name change after receiving €2m (£1.76) in bribes.

That prompted VMRO-DPMNE leaders to denounce "bribes and threats" used by Zaev to reach the necessary majority.

- Zaev's triumph -

The vote is a political triumph for the Social Democratic leader, who analysts say was weakened by the low turnout in the September referendum.

Macedonia's rightwing president, Gjorge Ivanov, has been a vocal opponent of the proposed name change and continues to speak out against it.

But the Macedonian constitution stipulates that as the measure was passed by a two-thirds majority, the president has no choice but to sign it into law.

Zaev, who came to power in May 2017, will now look to Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to uphold his end of the deal, which was brokered last year.

"The prime minister congratulated Mr Zaev on the successful conclusion of the process to revise the constitution of the former Yugoslav republic of Macedonia," Tsipras' office said in a statement, after the vote.

Tsipras has said he sees the Macedonia deal as "one of his greatest legacies" as premier, second only to leading Greece out of the bailout era.

Thousands protest in Athens against Macedonian accord

Thousands protest in Athens against Macedonian accord Scuffles broke out in central Athens Sunday as tens of thousands of people protested a planned name change for neighbouring Macedonia that parliament is due to ratify this week. After some 30 masked youths tried to force the closure of the parliament building by throwing stones, riot police responded with tear gas volleys to break up the crowd there. Hundreds of buses, especially from northern Greece, had brought protesters in for the rally, on Syntagma square near the parliament. Police estimates put the number of demonstrators at 60,000 at 1200 GMT, while organisers said 100,000 people had turned out.

Macedonia 's parliament passed an amendment to the constitution on Friday to rename the country Republic of “(I) hope that this historic decision creates a positive dynamic for reconciliation in the whole Macedonian opposition parties and nationalists say changing the name of the country and

Greece and Macedonia have signed a preliminary deal that renames Macedonia and promises to end a dispute that has vexed the Balkans for decades. Prime ministers Alexis Tsipras of Greece and Zoran Zaev of Macedonia agreed in mid-June to change the name , formally Former Yugoslav

But he too has a fragile parliamentary majority, with 153 deputies in the 300-seat Greek parliament.

Further complicating matters, Greek coalition partner Defence Minister Panos Kammenos, the leader of a smaller party, opposes the deal and has threatened to resign.

Senior European Union officials, Federika Mogherini and Johahnes Hahn were quickly to express "wholehearted congratulations" on the vote.

"Political leaders and citizens alike have shown their determination to seize this unique and historic opportunity in solving one of the oldest disputes in the region, and decisively move forward on the European Union path," they said in a statement.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas hailed the vote, expressing expectations "that Republic of North Macedonia will soon be able to join NATO and start discussions for entry into the European Union.

"This is an encouraging signal for the whole region," he added.

The US ambassador in Skopje, Jess Bailey, commended the government and parliament for their "vision, courage and perseverance" in reaching the deal.

"We look forward to welcoming the Republic of North Macedonia as a 30th member of NATO and to continue our strong partnership with you in promoting stability and prosperity here and throughout the region," he added.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg congratulated Zaev on Twitter and reiterated the Alliance's support for the deal with Athens.

Greek MPs to vote on Macedonia deal amid political turmoil.
The Greek parliament is expected to vote Thursday on a deal to change Macedonia's name to the Republic of North Macedonia amid deep social division and a crisis in centrist political parties. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.getMedianetNativeAds(true); }); Lawmakers will debate the draft name-change deal between Greece and Macedonia on Wednesday, Athens News Agency said on Monday. Macedonia's parliament backed a constitutional revision to change the country's name 10 days ago.

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