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Macedonia-Greece: name-change agreement gets go-ahead from Athens. EU, “an example of reconciliation, a further boost to the European perspective of the region”

After a 38-hour debate, the Hellenic Parliament has today passed the Prespa Agreement, signed by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and by Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on 17 June 2018. Macedonia will change its constitutional name to the Republic of North Macedonia, and in return, Greece will stop vetoing Skopje’ accession to the European Union and NATO. 153 MPs voted in favour, 146 against. Words of congratulations came from Brussels in a joint statement by President Jean-Claude Juncker, High Representative Federica Mogherini, and Commissioner Johannes Hahn. They welcomed the vote as “an example of reconciliation for Europe as a whole” and “a further boost to the European perspective of the region”. “Today Athens and Skopje have, together, written a new page of our common EU future”, the joint message reads. “From the very beginning, the European Union has strongly supported the historic agreement signed by Prime Ministers Tsipras and Zaev, following negotiations under the auspices of the UN”. “It took political courage, leadership and responsibility on all sides to resolve one of the most entrenched disputes in the region”. Even the President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, welcomed the adoption of the Prespa agreement in a tweet: “They had imagination, they took the risk, they were ready to sacrifice their own interests for the greater good”. And he concluded by saying in a friendly tone: “Zoran, Alexis – well done! Mission impossible accomplished”.








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