On National Holiday, FYROM’s Leaders Spar Over Name Deal With Greece

August 3, 2018

SKOPJE, FYROM — The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’s national holiday saw Premier Zoran Zaev and President Gjorge Ivanov clash again over a deal to change the country’s name with North Macedonia, agreed with Greece to end a 27-year feud.

Zaev urged FYROMians on Aug. 2 — the 115th anniversary of a failed rebellion against Ottoman Turkey — to support the agreement with Greece in a Sept. 30 referendum that would clear the way for entry into NATO and the start of European Union accession hopes if Greece’s Parliament after that also votes approval.

Ivanov is refusing to sign off on the deal, which FYROM lawmakers ratified last month for a second time, necessitated when he refused to sign the first approval. The second passage means he’s required by law to sign but he’s holding out in opposition.

Ivanov says it would “delete” FYROM’s history as an independent nation that began in 1991 when its broke away from the collapsing Yugoslavia and was allowed by Greece’s then-ruling New Democracy Conservatives to use the name Macedonia – that of an abutting ancient Greek province – in what was supposed to be a temporary acronym.

But after successive FYROM governments began claiming Greek history, culture and territory – including the real Macedonia and the second-largest city and major port of Thessaloniki – Greece used a veto to keep its neighbor out of NATO and having EU hopes.

Although the deal would change FYROM’s name to North Macedonia it would allow citizens there to call themselves Macedonians and have a Macedonian language and identity, anathema to opponents in Greece.
That includes the pro-austerity, marginal, jingoistic Independent Greeks (ANEL) who are junior partners in the coalition led by the ruling anti-nationalist Radical Left SYRIZA of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

He has barred a referendum with surveys showing 62-68 percent of Greeks are opposed although he said the agreement was necessary because it adds the qualifying North to Macedonia and that 140 countries already recognize FYROM as only Macedonia.


ATHENS - You wouldn’t imagine it from the busy streets of Athens and Greek cities buzzing with activity, people out dining, having coffee and socializing but large numbers of elderly in the country spend their days alone in remote areas.

Top Stories


A pregnant woman was driving in the HOV lane near Dallas.

General News

FALMOUTH, MA – The police in Falmouth have identified the victim in an accident involving a car plunging into the ocean on February 20, NBC10 Boston reported.


Deck the White House Halls: Jill Biden Wants Holiday Visitors to Feel Like Kids Again (Vid & Pics)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Step inside the White House during the holidays by walking beneath the branches of a Christmas tree.

LOS ANGELES – The Los Angeles Greek Film Festival (LAGFF) hosts an in-person screening of Greece’s Oscar entries which compete for nominations in December - Asimina Proedrou’s top Iris Award-winner ‘Behind the Haystacks’ (Πίσω από τις Θημωνιές) and Thanasis Neofotistos’ multiple-award-winning short film ‘Air Hostess – 737’ - on Sunday, December 10, 5:30 PM, at the Gianopulos Family Theater at St.

LOS ANGELES – The Saint Sophia Greek Orthodox Cathedral community is calling for cookies for the reception following the 24th Annual Christmas Concert on Sunday, December 3.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Step inside the White House during the holidays by walking beneath the branches of a Christmas tree.

UTTARKASHI, India (AP) — All 41 construction workers who were trapped in a collapsed mountain tunnel in northern India for more than two weeks were pulled out on Tuesday, bringing an end to a drawn-out rescue mission that had grabbed the country's attention for days.

Enter your email address to subscribe

Provide your email address to subscribe. For e.g. [email protected]

You may unsubscribe at any time using the link in our newsletter.