Greek Government issues caution to North Macedonian PM over name dispute

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A Greek government spokesperson has issued a stark caution to the Prime Minister of North Macedonia. 

Aristotelia Peloni signalled for the Prime Minister of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev to respect the Prespa Agreement after Mr. Zaev referred to the country’s football team as ‘Macedonia’. 

“We demand the full implementation of the Prespa Agreement and its spirit and we call on Mr Zaev to refrain from divisive rhetoric, especially in such a sensitive issue such as football,” Peloni said.

“In any case, the good faith implementation of the agreement is one of the criteria for the country’s accession to the European Union.” 

Former Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras and North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev meet to sign the Prespa Agreement in 2018 (Source: Meta.Mk)

Zaev sent out the tweet during the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Euro 2020 football match between North Macedonia and the Netherlands, which the Netherlands won 3-0, at Amsterdam’s ArenA stadium. 

“Today, from the stadium in Amsterdam, I offer my strong support to the Macedonian national football team,” Mr. Zaev wrote.

The journalist-turned-government spokesperson cited the Prespa Agreement in condemning the North Macedonian Prime Minister’s choice of omission. 

Macedonia officially became known, domestically and internationally, as the Republic of North Macedonia in the Prespa Agreement name change in 2018. 

The name change was reflected in the Macedonian constitution and recognised by the Greek parliament after a long-running dispute dating back to the 1990s. 

Source: Ekathimerini 

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