A breakthrough in a decades-long dispute. The Prime Ministers of Greece and FYROM finally agreed on a composite name for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. PM Zoran Zaef made the decisive phone call to his counterpart, Alexis Tsipras, on Tuesday afternoon. Right after the phone call, PM Alexis Tsipras visited the President of the Republic to brief him on the agreement. Both Zaef and Tsipras are expected to address their nations later on Tuesday and thus at the same time.
Although there is no official* statement on the issue, Greek media report that:
- The new name of FYROM will be Severna Makedonija – North Macedonia
- The name will be erga omnes, that is for all purposes internationally and nationally
- The Macedonian language is recognized with the note that it is of Slavic origin
- Nationality is recognized as Macedonian/ citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia with the explicit definition that they are not related to the ancient Greek culture.
- The reference “protection of Macedonia minorities” will have been removed in FYROM’s constitution
- A letter from the Greek government to encourage Severna Makedonija’s accession negotiations with the EU and NATO
- FYROM will have to have changed its Constitution by the end of 2018.
*In their addresses to Greek and FYROM nations early Tuesday evening, Tsipras and Zaef practically confirmed what has been listed above.
Even if the two prime ministers, Tsipras and Zaef, have reached a deal, the agreement have to be approved by the Parliaments in both countries.
The Greek Palriament is expected to approve the deal once FYROM has concluded its constitutional changes.
Zaef had said that he would call a referendum on the new name.
It’s about time that Greece and FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) came to an agreement on FYROM’s new name, the Republic of North Macedonia. After all, Greece and FYROM have been bickering over a new name for FYROM for decades.
We hope and pray that the parliaments and people of both countries agree to this new name, and that the FYROM name dispute has finally ended!