World North Macedonia Name Deal Hits Hurdles Right Out of the Gate

20:20  13 june  2018
20:20  13 june  2018 Source:   bloomberg.com

"We have a deal", Greek PM says over Macedonian name row

  Greece and Macedonia have reached a historic accord to resolve a decades-old dispute over the name of the tiny Balkan nation, the Greek prime minister said."I have good news ...  a while ago we reached an agreement with the Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on an issue which has been on our minds for many years," Tsipras told Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos during a televised meeting on Tuesday afternoon.

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Supporters of opposition party VMRO-DPMNE carry a big Macedonian flag in Skopje on June 2, 2018, as they protest the compromise solution in Macedonia's dispute with Greece over the country's name. © Marko Djurica Supporters of opposition party VMRO-DPMNE carry a big Macedonian flag in Skopje on June 2, 2018, as they protest the compromise solution in Macedonia's dispute with Greece over the country's name. The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s deal with Greece to end their decades-long name dispute hit its first hurdles a day after its unveiling as detractors in both countries mounted opposition to the accord.

By agreeing to call the Balkan state of 2 million people "the Republic of North Macedonia," Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras are seeking to unlock that country’s accession process to both the European Union and NATO. But they must find support at home in political environments that underscore a path fraught with obstacles.

Greece reaches deal with Macedonia to end name dispute

  Greece reaches deal with Macedonia to end name dispute <p>The prime minister of Greece said his country had reached an agreement with the country's northern neighbor to end a 27-year dispute.</p>Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said in remarks broadcast by state television that a deal had been reached that would give Macedonia a different name that would be used both domestically and internationally.

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Hurdle gate — noun : the crosspiece of a track hurdle that swings up to form a high hurdle or down to form a low hurdle

Macedonia’s President Gjorge Ivanov, who has veto power over legislation, denounced the agreement, saying it violated the constitution and hurt his country’s national interests. He said he wouldn’t sign it, and the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, which backs Ivanov, also vowed to oppose any changes to the country’s constitution.

"My decision is final and it won’t change by any convincing or pressure," Ivanov said in a live-stream address. "The EU and NATO shouldn’t be an alibi for a bad accord which will create harmful consequences for the state and national interests of the Republic of Macedonia."

It’s not the first time Ivanov has tried to block legislation from the current government, with a law on languages coming into force despite the president vetoing it twice.

Greeks divided on proposed Macedonia name deal

  Greeks divided on proposed Macedonia name deal Greeks were divided Wednesday on a proposed compromise deal to end a nearly three-decade name row with Macedonia, with some questioning its benefits and others pointing out that obstacles remain. The leaders of the two countries said Tuesday that they had reached a "historic" solution to resolve the dispute and call the northern nation the Republic of North Macedonia after months of intensive diplomacy."A mutually beneficial deal creates a safe environment on our northern border.

SKOPJE, Macedonia (CNN) -- Efforts to cement a peace deal between Macedonia 's majority Slav and minority Albanian parties has hit a new snag. IN-DEPTH. Macedonia : Hurdles to peace. The rebels say their goal is to win greater civil rights for Macedonia 's Albanian minority.

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In Greece, the main opposition New Democracy party demands that Tsipras get a mandate from parliament before he signs the agreement, complicating plans for him and Zaev to do that as early as this weekend. If he doesn’t, New Democracy is considering launching a no-confidence motion against him, according to two party officials, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the discussions.

Party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis called on President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to force Tsipras to submit the agreement to the assembly, saying he "will exhaust all available means" to bring it up for debate.

The talks have also sparked a confrontation between Tsipras and his main coalition partner, the Independent Greeks, whose leader and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos reiterated on Tuesday his party won’t back any agreement that includes the term “Macedonia.”

Greek govt faces no-confidence vote on Macedonia name deal

  Greek govt faces no-confidence vote on Macedonia name deal <p>The prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia faced political storms at home after reaching a historic deal to settle a decades-old dispute over Macedonia's name.</p>Greece's Alexis Tsipras faces a vote of no-confidence in his government, while Macedonia's Zoran Zaev is contending with the refusal of the country's president to sign off on the deal if it's approved by parliament.

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Tsipras, whose coalition controls a majority in the assembly, said the agreement would allow the Balkan state to get a green light to start EU accession talks at a summit later this month and an invitation to join NATO at a gathering of its members in July.

"Both invitations will be conditional on the successful completion of the constitutional revision" by lawmakers in Skopje, Tsipras said. Greece’s parliament will hold off on approving the deal until after that has been completed.

Three challenges

Zaev jump-started U.N.-mediated negotiations over the name, which Greece believes to be a territorial claim on its northern province called Macedonia, after he took power a year ago. He has accused his predecessor, nationalist former VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski, of deliberately fueling the rift with Greece.

The premier now has three main challenges ahead. The first is to approve the deal in parliament, where his coalition holds a majority. Then voters will go to the polls in the fall in a consultative referendum on changing their country’s name. After the referendum, Zaev will need to muster a two-thirds of votes in the chamber to amend the constitution in a ballot that will require opposition support.

Why all the furor over Macedonia name change? It goes back to Alexander the Great

  Why all the furor over Macedonia name change? It goes back to Alexander the Great Greek lawmakers debated a no-confidence motion against the government Friday over its preliminary agreement to end a long-running dispute with Macedonia over that country’s name. The Greek government is expected to survive the vote set for Saturday.  Outside parliament here, a couple hundred protested the agreement, which would rename Greece’s northern neighbor North Macedonia in exchange for Greece nixing its disapproval to Macedonia joining NATO and the European Union.So, why all the furor over a name? It goes back to Alexander the Great.

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Inside the Bitter Dispute Over the Name 'Macedonia': QuickTake

Zaev didn’t rule out holding a snap vote with the referendum this year or with presidential elections in 2019. Almost three fifths of Macedonians think that EU membership will be a good thing, according to the latest Eurobarometer survey from November 2017. A separate survey conducted in February showed 71 percent supported joining NATO, according to the International Institute for Middle-East and Balkan Studies in Ljubljana.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg called on both countries to finalize the agreement, and EU foreign-policy chief Federica Mogherini said the European Council should open accession talks with Skopje in June.

"NATO and EU officials both are aware of the importance to shore up the Macedonian government," Florian Bieber, professor of southeast European history and politics at the University of Graz, Austria, said in an email. "They had to reject the membership of a country for years due to the opposition of one, leading to democratic backsliding and crisis. Now both can prove that membership is merit-based and rewarding a reformist government."


Greek far-right lawmaker arrested on treason-linked charges .
Greek anti-terrorism police have arrested an extreme far-right lawmaker on treason-linked charges, more than two days after he evaded arrest by speeding past a series of police highway checkpoints. Constantinos Barbaroussis has been charged in Athens with committing preparatory acts for high treason over his exhortations last week for the armed forces to arrest the country's leadership, to hinder a deal with neighboring Macedonia over that country's name.Load Error

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