Mace­do­nian pres­i­dent won’t sign off on name deal with Greece

The Western Star - - WORLD -

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.

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