Macedonia Name Dispute: PMs Watch As Ministers Sign 'Historic' Deal

Foreign ministers of Greece Nikos Kotzias and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras

Macedonia signs name change deal with Greece

"Our two countries should step out of the past and look to the future", said Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Seven police officers have been injured, and 25 demonstrators arrested late on Sunday during violent protests in front of the Macedonian Assembly in Skopje.

Tsipras and Zaev embraced on the village dock and were treated to a standing ovation by gathered dignitaries.

With a brief formulation of words, Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras may have boosted his chances of persuading foreign creditors to free his nation from years of financial humiliation on better terms than a few days ago.

Since its independence in 1991, the Republic of Macedonia has been fighting with neighboring Greece over the country's name.

The two premiers, born just months apart in 1974, have bucked strong hostile reactions at home to push ahead with the agreement.

In August 2017, Serbia pulled its embassy staff out of Skopje after President Aleksandar Vucic claimed Belgrade had to have obtained "evidence of very offensive intelligence against the institutions of Serbia" from the Macedonian side, alleging that unnamed "foreign powers" were also involved.

Protestors threw flares, rocks and bottles at police outside the national parliament and chanted "Macedonia, Macedonia".

Macedonia now needs to ratify the deal in the parliament and confirm it with a referendum, presumably in September, and put the name change into its constitution.

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Since his first attempt, Santos was commissioned by Bleacher Report to try again , providing a far more successful attempt. Cristiano Ronaldo International Airport now sees the new sculpture take pride of place at the entrance of the terminal.

"Today's my birthday. I told my family this year I don't need any [other] gifts", Matthew Nimetz, a 79-year old United Nations diplomat, who helped negotiate the deal, said.

On Saturday Mr Tsipras survived a no-confidence vote over the deal amid accusations he made too many concessions.

Zivaljevic was present during a violent episode on April 27 previous year, when a group of men stormed the Macedonian parliament in Skopje in an attempt to prevent Zaev forming an administration.

Specifically, by officially recognising a Macedonian language and nationality, it is nearly certain that the country will be called Macedonia by the broader world, instead of North Macedonia, opponents of the deal argue.

If Macedonia fails to complete its side of the process, Greece says its neighbor's North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and European Union accession course will automatically come to a halt under the deal.

Officials in Athens insist the deal will help stabilise the historically volatile Balkan region, permitting Greece to focus on other regional challenges, Turkey among them.

The new name is aimed to distinguish the country now called Macedonia from a province in northern Greece that has the same name.

"It is indeed a historic day..."

Amid the turmoil, the Greek and Macedonian leaders paid tribute to diplomacy for having solved one of the region's most stubborn problems.

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