Published: Wed, June 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Gretchen Simon

Macedonian government submits deal on new name to parliament

Macedonian government submits deal on new name to parliament

Macedonian and Greek ministers on Sunday signed the landmark agreement aimed at finally resolving their dispute.

"Some of the protesters used stun grenades and violently pushed the protective fence while trying to forcefully enter the parliament", the police said in a statement.

We will remind, on June 17, Greece and Macedonia signed the agreement on change of the name of the former Yugoslav Republic Republic of North Macedonia. UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz, EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs Federica Mogherini were in attendance, however.

"It's our historic responsibility to ensure that this step we are making isn't left up in the air", Tsipras said, after the two countries' foreign ministers signed a provisional text.

The official signing ceremony was held on the Greek side of the border with a celebratory lunch held on the northern side of the border and allowed Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to make his first visit to Greece's northern neighbour under somewhat informal conditions.

Clashes erupted with Greek police in which 12 people were injured.

As a sign of goodwill, the Republic of Macedonia also agreed to rename huge statues erected in recent years in its capital honoring the ancient warrior kings - Alexander the Great and his father, Filip of Macedon, as well as Alexander's mother, Olympia.

Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote mounted by Greece's opposition in parliament Saturday, but the depth of public emotion against the deal is strong.

He called for the army to arrest Greece's president, prime minister and defence minister and to "carry their heads" to the Macedonian border.

Kensington Palace has officially announced the date of Prince Louis' christening
While the Duke and Duchess of Sussex were present in the celebration, Prince William and Kate Middleton didn't attend the event. Louis was born at the private Lindo Wing of St Mary's Hospital in Paddington, London, on St George's Day, weighing 8lb 7oz.

Even if a referendum does approve the proposed name-change, Macedonia will face years of negotiations before being admitted to the EU.

Meanwhile, Macedonia's Social Democrat-led government is expected to adopt a law on ratification of the deal on June 18 and then to send it to the parliament for approval.

Officials in Athens insist the deal will help stabilise the historically volatile Balkan region, permitting Greece to focus on other regional challenges, Turkey among them.

"The best thing that the European Union can do now is to recognise (the deal) and help us by opening the door", Dimitrov said.

However, more than 120 countries including Russian Federation and the United States have recognised the Balkan country under the name of "Republic of Macedonia". Most hardliners want to avoid any use of the word Macedonia in the small landlocked country's name.

"It is indeed a historic day..."

The subject is an emotional one for many Greeks.

Skopje hopes to secure a date to begin European Union accession talks at a bloc's summit in late June and an invitation to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation in mid-July.

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