Greece prepared to alert EU amid its claims North Macedonia broke historic name deal

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Greece accused neighbouring North Macedonia’s new centre-right government on Monday of breaking a historic agreement on the country’s name, stating that this might jeopardise the country’s chances of entering the European Union.

Athens responded a day after North Macedonia’s Prime Minister, Hristijan Mickoski frequently used the old name, Macedonia, calling his country’s new name under the agreement, “shameful.”

According to AP News, the 2018 Prespa Agreement with Greece, which claims Macedonia as the name of one of its regions, was signed by the centre-left government that Mickoski defeated in the May 8 election.

It resolved a decades-long dispute over history and cultural heritage, and it declared that the country would formally adopt the new name North Macedonia. The agreement also allowed for North Macedonia to eventually join NATO.

Speaking in parliament Sunday ahead of a vote to approve his new government, Mickoski repeatedly used the old name, Macedonia. Shortly after, in his official oath of office, he used the full formal name of the country.

“(I) will have to capitulate before you and say that shameful adjective, because it is, unfortunately, part of the law and the constitution that I have to respect as the head of government,” Mickoski said.

On Monday, Greece’s Foreign Minister, George Gerapetritis said North Macedonia’s EU accession would be “unimaginable and unacceptable” without its “full and unconditional” respect of international law, including the name agreement with Greece. Gerapetritis stated that North Macedonia’s new leadership “has decided, systematically and insistently, not to use (the name North Macedonia) domestically in public discourse.

“This is a clear breach of the (agreement with Greece) that calls for the use of the name North Macedonia both domestically and internationally,” Gerapetritis said. North Macedonia’s President, Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova later insisted that she had a “human right” to refer to the country as she liked.

Source: AP News

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