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Politics

Defiant North Macedonia President Will Call Her Country Only Macedonia

ATHENS – North Macedonia’s new President Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova has doubled down on her insistence she has the right to call her country Macedonia, which breaches a name deal made with Greece in 2019.

She’s coming to party with a nationalist coalition government that doesn’t like the so-called Prespa Agreement named for a lake which borders the countries and brought the name North Macedonia to replace the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in a deal made by Greece’s former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA.

A law professor, she told reporters  she has the “personal right to use the term ‘Macedonia,’” and that how she uses the country’s name “is a matter of personal determination, a right secured by acts higher than those in bilateral agreements.”

She said she would “persuade” Greece of the “correctness” of her claims and said, Of course, I have a plan. The plan is to build good neighborly relations,” although her hardline stance has led Greece to threaten to block hopes of joining the European Union.

Greece also said it could appeal to the International Court of Justice for non-compliance with the Prespa Agreement but she said there was a differing opinion from the court in 2011, eight years before the agreement was signed.

“I don’t believe we will immediately go to court. There is a gradation in the Prespa Agreement,” Siljanovska stated, although Greece is being backed by the EU, Germany and the United States over her intransigence.

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