Skopje starts name change procedure, opens EU, NATO doors

Source: Tanjug / AP, Boris Grdanoski

The Parliament of Macedonia passed late on Friday the decision to launch the procedure to amend the Constitution to adjust it with the Skopje – Athens agreement from June, and open the doors to Euro-Atlantic integrations, the Beta news agency reported.

The ruling coalition of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, who was present at the session, managed to win the support of  nine opposition deputies to reach the required 80 votes, i.e., the two-thirds majority, needed for the changes in the Constitution which would change the former Yugoslav republic's name into the Republic of North Macedonia.

The main opposition party, nationalist VMRO-DPMNE obstructed the parliament session during the day, but eventually, a number of their members voted for the historic deal reached with Greece that ended the 27-year-long dispute which prevented Macedonia from joining NATO and starting the European Union accession talks.

The parliament approval was needed after the referendum failed to attract enough voters due to the VMRO-DPMNE call for a boycott.