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Northern Macedonian Parliament Ratifies Name Change

Yesterday, the Parliament of Macedonia ratified a Constitutional amendment that changes the name of the country to the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

The amendments proposed by the government and its allies in Parliament passed with a qualified majority of 81 votes.

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The amendments were part of an agreement the Northern Macedonian government concluded with Greece to end a decades-long blockade of Greece over what it considered the pretensions of the Macedonians to the Greek province of Macedonia. This was exacerbated by former Prime Minister Nikolla Gruevski, who openly appropriate ancient Greek figures as Macedonian national heroes.

As Exit had previously reported, votes of opposition’s Albanian parties in the parliament resulted to be crucial. Alliance for Albanians and BESA Movement, each with two members in parliament, had successfully negotiated earlier with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev the inclusion in the constitution of certain guarantees for Albanians regarding citizenship and the status of Albanian language.

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Now the Greek Parliament will have to approve the agreement as well, which will then open the way for EU and NATO membership of Northern Macedonia.

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