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‘North’ Macedonia parliamentary debates hit deadlock

Members of the Macedonian parliament began debating the Prespa Agreement between the governments of the Republic of Macedonia and Greece on October 15. The agreement would change the official name of Macedonia to ‘Republic of North Macedonia’, which would end the a long naming dispute with Greece and pave the way for Macedonia to enter the European Union (EU) and NATO. The debates, however, have so far produced no result.

It is possible that the debate will last the entire week. For the necessary constitutional changes to be made, 80 of Macedonia’s 120 MPs will have to vote in favour, yet this number has not yet been ensured. The ruling party, the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), need at least nine votes from MPs belonging to the opposition camp, led by the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party, which has opposed the agreement and called for a boycott of a referendum on the issue held of September 30. Turnout in the referendum was just under 37 per cent, well below the required 50 per cent to make it legally binding. As such, the referendum only has consultative power, which SDSM is utilising to the fullest extent to claim legitimacy to try to convince as many MPs as possible to vote in favour of the name change.

The country’s Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, who signed the Prespa deal with his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras, has promised “reconciliation” and to pardon those involved in parliamentary scuffles in April 2016.

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  • It’s not in the prime minister’s power to pardon anyone. That is a job for the courts. Oh yeah…he controls the judges. How convenient…

    • It”s upto the Hellenic people of Greece! Who will make the final decision on the naming issue of the Former Yugoslavian statelt FYROM.
      The Bulgarian slavs and Turkoalbanians will NEVER be allowed
      To steal the undisputed Hellenic name of Macedonia of Hellenic origin in order to identify their slavobulgarian Slavic identity of Slavic origin !with intent to impose terrotorial claims on Hellenic soil…

      • F….you afronigger
        Im from Makedonija Skopje desdent of Cleopatra put face pic I ll put mine …after that we dont need to discuss anymore where re your origin from

      • It is very doubtful that there is anything left of pure “Hellenic” people. Greece is made up of a mix of Slavs, Turks, Albanians, Vlachs, and yes, some semblance of originally “hellenic” greeks. In fact, in the 1820’s, at the time of modern Greek independence, 40% of the population spoke Albanian. (Look up Greek Historian Maria Efthiomou for reference on this percentage number). Athens in 1820, at that time a very small town, was predominately Albanian speaking. This holier than thou attitude from modern Greeks is laughable, and quite sad. It’s the Balkans. People have been mixing for millennia. You are a mutt like most peoples in the Balkans. To be “Greek”, you just have to speak Greek and accept their church. They care not if you were originally Albanian, Turk, Macedonian, Bulgarian, etc. Bloodline is of no significance to modern greeks. (Kind of like the USA. To be American, they don’t care where you came from) Greece basically forced every other nationality to assimilate, by not allowing the recognition of ANY minorities, not allowing schools in other languages, forcing people to change their last names, etc. And guess what? It worked. Basically forced assimilation. Again, Bloodline is of no significance to modern greeks. Greece is The true melting pot of the balkans.

  • The Prespes deal is a deal with Greece. How can VMRO say they can do better than this?
    A better qualifier, perhaps? The Greeks have compromised and accepted a Macedonian ethnicity and language.
    How many VMRO members ever thought, that in their lifetime, a Greek prime minister would ever do that?
    The Prespes deal is the best any govt. will get from Greece.
    So ratify it and move on.

    • I Totally agree. This is as good as it gets. VMRO knows this, but there is politics at play here, and possibly an element of Russian influence. In terms of politics, Success for Zaev means failure for VMRO. That is the political angle VMRO can’t get passed, thus not supporting the accord. Failure for Zaev means the possibility that VMRO gets back in power.

      And of course, there is also that cancerous “Balkan pride” that has gotten so many of the various populations in trouble in the past. This goes for both the Macedonians and the Greeks that are against the deal.