The prime minister of Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, has floated the idea that the country may temporarily change its name to please Greece in order to enter the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Athens has long objected to Macedonia claiming the name of one of its northern providences since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia, even vetoing a previous application in 2008.
“There are two ways: either to solve the problem, or join NATO under a temporary name and continue negotiations with Greece on the issue that Greece has with our constitutional name related to our integration into the European Union. They are perfectly aware of our desire to join the European Union,” Zaev told Macedonian Radio Television (MRT), reports Russian state news agency Sputnik.
“This is exactly the situation we had during the 2008 NATO summit in Bucharest when Albania, Croatia and Macedonia were supposed to join NATO together. Macedonia didn’t join then because the Greeks said “no” and so it was agreed that Macedonia would join under the provisional name of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and that Skopje and Athens would later work this out between them,” Milenko Nedelkovski told Sputnik Serbia.
“I think that Macedonia will keep insisting that FYROM is a temporary name, and the Greeks will be pushing to make it permanent, and this will go on forever,” he added.
Macedonia would need a nationwide referendum, support from two-thirds of the country’s MPs, and consultations with the Constitutional Court.