PRESIDENT AGAINST DEAL TO RENAME COUNTRY
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.