Greek PM expects parliament to ratify Macedonia name deal

Greek PM expects parliament to ratify Macedonia name deal Izvor: REUTERS/Costas Baltas/File Photo

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said he does not expect any problems over the agreement on the name of its northern neighbour in parliament.

The Greek and Macedonian Prime Ministers, Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev reached an agreement to change the name of the former Yugoslav republic to Northern Macedonia.  

Tspiras told the Greek state ERT TV that he expects the agreement to be ratified with a huge majority despite the fact that his junior coalition partner the Independent Greeks party which is opposed to any use of the name Macedonia for the former Yugoslav republic.  

Athens daily Ekathimerini predicted the coming of a political firestorm over the agreement. The newspaper said that the opposition New Democracy party is expected to file a motion to reject the agreement. New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said the agreement “deeply problematic” and called President Prokopis Pavlopoulos to intervene.  

 Earlier in Skoplje, President Gjorge Ivanov stormed out of a meeting with Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, saying the agreement was unacceptable and in violation of the laws and constitution.

 Protests against the Skoplje-Athens agreement on the name of the southernmost former Yugoslav republic were held in several cities in Macedonia. Macedonian media reported that some 2,000 people gathered in front of parliament in the capital Skoplje, demanding the government’s resignation and shouting Traitors, Traitors and that similar protests were held in the cities of Prilep and Bitola.

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