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Macedonia parliament agrees to name change



The Macedonian parliament approved an amendment to the constitution to rename the Republic of Northern Macedonia, as agreed with Greece to end a 27-year dispute.

Eighty-one deputies in the 120-seat parliament voted in favor. The representatives of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, who opposed the agreement with Greece, boycotted the vote.

The countries have reached agreement on the new name in June, but Macedonia will start using it only after the Athens parliament has ratified the agreement.

Greece blocked the aspirations of its neighbor to join the EU and NATO on the use of "Macedonia", which said implicit territorial claims to a Greek province of the same name.

At the start of the parliamentary session on Friday, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told MEPs that the name change "will open the door to the future, the European future of Macedonia" and to join the Alliance of the North Atlantic.

Several hundred people protested against the parliament before the last three days.


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