Macedonian president won’t sign off on name deal with Greece
ATHENS, Greece — Macedonia’s president said Wednesday that he would not sign off on a historic deal that would change the country’s name, the most potentially disruptive reaction so far to the agreement with Greece that has received diverging reactions in both countries. President Gjorge Ivanov said the agreement, which would rename Macedonia as the Republic of North Macedonia, gave too many concessions to Greece.
“Such a harmful agreement, which is unique in the history of mankind, is shameful and unacceptable for me,’’ Ivanov said in a TV address. “It violates the Constitution (and) the laws ... I will not legalize political illegal agreements.’’ The deal reached by the prime ministers of the two countries 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 is passed a second time.