The Parliament of the southern Balkan country of Macedonia has agreed to a renaming in the North of Macedonia. For the corresponding amendment to the Constitution, which aims to resolve the name dispute with the Greek province of Macedonia, agreed on Friday evening, 81 of the 120 members of Parliament. Thus, the required two-thirds majority just. There were neither votes against nor abstentions.

The renaming of the country is a key condition for Macedonia to settle the name dispute with Greece. Thus, the way to inclusion in Nato and EU for Macedonia has been blocked in Athens so far. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas (SPD), welcomed the vote.

last June, had agreed with the social democratic Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev and his Greek colleague, Mr Alexis Tsipras that Greece ends its blockade against Macedonia, as the Northern neighbor renaming in the North of Macedonia. Nationalists in both countries reject this solution. They justify the fears that they might lose their national identity. The nationalist Opposition in the country did not take part in the vote.

of Macedonia, not to raise any claims on neighboring territories

The Land of Macedonia was, in the Wake of the breakup of Yugoslavia was independent. Under the name Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (abbreviation: FYROM) it was in 1991 a member of the United Nations. Greece has since been a name change, because a province in the North of the country also bears the name Macedonia (Greek: Makedonia).

With the vote on Friday evening, the Parliament amended the Constitution in several points. In addition to the name change, the people’s representatives also decided on a formulation, which holds that Macedonia has no claims on territories of neighbouring countries.

the Greek Parliament has to agree to name change

Zaev had negotiated up to the last intensively with the Albanian parties, the guarantees for the protection of their rights in the amended Constitution had required. Macedonia is inhabited by a majority of Slavic Macedonians. The Albanians make up about 25 percent of the population. In addition, there are Serbs and Roma in the Balkan country.

Now it’s up to Greece, the name dispute can be definitively resolved. Although Tsipras in his Parliament needs only a simple majority, in order to solve the Macedonian question. However, since the coalition partner, the party of the nationalist Panos Kammenos, does not want to follow in this matter, you must look for Tsipras, a new majority.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who had met him on Thursday in Athens, strengthened him in the back. In a TV Interview two days ago, Tsipras was optimistic: “I’m sure I’m going to get this majority.”

Maas expressed confidence that Athens will agree to it. “The solution of the name dispute between Skopje and Athens is straight on the goal,” he shared on Friday evening in Berlin. He noted that the Greek Parliament the agreement would now agree that the country is North may open up Macedonia to soon join NATO and start of accession talks with the EU.”


Sam Yoon has many years of experiences in journalism. He has covered such areas as information technology, science, sports and politics. Yoon can be reached at 82-2-6956-6698.