PRES­I­DENT AGAINST DEAL TO RE­NAME COUN­TRY

Ottawa Citizen - - WORLD -

ATHENS Macedonia’s pres­i­dent said Wed­nes­day he would not sign off on a his­toric deal that would change the coun­try’s name.

Pres­i­dent Gjorge Ivanov, pic­tured above, said the agree­ment, which would re­name Macedonia as Repub­lic of North Macedonia, gave too many con­ces­sions to Greece.

The deal reached by the two coun­tries’ prime min­is­ters is ex­pected to be signed by their for­eign min­is­ters this week­end.

Af­ter that, Macedonia’s par­lia­ment would vote on it, and if it is approved, Ivanov’s sig­na­ture would be needed.

If the pres­i­dent re­fuses to sign, the deal would re­turn to par­lia­ment for another vote. Ivanov would have to sign off on the agree­ment if it passed a sec­ond time.

The name dis­pute, which has pre­vented Macedonia from join­ing in­ter­na­tional in­sti­tu­tions such as NATO, has roused strong na­tion­al­ist sen­ti­ments and poi­soned the two coun­tries’ re­la­tions since the Balkan coun­try de­clared in­de­pen­dence from Yu­goslavia in 1991.

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