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Greek government crisis over Macedonia name change



 Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in Athens, 13 January Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Mr. Tsipras may be counting on a split within the junior coalition party
                

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has said he will call a confidence vote after his governing coalition split over the Macedonia name change.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos with his party's support, signaling his opposition ahead of an expected vote in the Greek parliament.

The two countries recently agreed that Greece's northern neighbor would be called North Macedonia, therefore ending a 27-year-old long row.

Macedonia has ratified the deal.

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Greek nationalists argue that the name "Macedonia" can only refer to the Greek province of the same name

The dispute, which has raged since the vote for independence from Yugoslavia in 1

991, is blocking Macedonia's hopes of joining NATO and the European Union.

Where does this leave Greece?

Mr Tsipras said he was voting immediately to a confidence vote.

Image copyright
AFP

Image caption

Panos Kammenos (center) has called the deal and sell-out
                

His Syriza party has 145 seats in the 300-seat parliament and Mr Kammenos has called on his Independent Greeks party, which has seven, to vote against the government.

If the government loses, the next general election, due

The Main Conservative Opposition Party, New Democracy.

Greece's objections forced the United Nations to refer to Macedonia as "the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia"

Athens also vetoed Macedonia's attempt to join NATO in 2008 – and its EU membership ambitions.

  • Macedonia country profile
  • Greece country profile

Since 1991, many suggestions have been proposed, then rejected. of government in Macedonia in 2017 finally reached the deal reached last year

Under the proposed agreement, the country's language will be called Macedonian and its people known as Macedonians (citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia).

The new name will be used both internationally and bilaterally, so that even the 140 or more countries that recognize the name Macedonia will have to adopt North Macedonia. In Macedonian, the name is Severna Makedonija.


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