Kotzias slams ND for criticizing FYROM name deal

Greeks protest the use of the name Macedonia

Greece and Macedonia have reached an agreement on how to end their long-running name dispute, a Greek government official said on Tuesday.

Tsipras' comments came shortly after a much-anticipated phone call with Zaev.

Zoran Zaev, the prime minister of Macedonia, and Alexis Tsipras, the prime minister of Greece, both agreed to the deal on Monday.

"Accepting the "Macedonian language" and the "Macedonian ethnicity" constitutes a non-acceptable national concession", he said in a video posted on his official Twitter account.

Skopje took on the name Macedonia in 1991, following its independence, and Greece vetoed its bid to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and the European Union over the name dispute. Our agreement includes Republic of North Macedonia for overall use, ' Zaev told reporters in the capital Skopje.

The former Yugoslav republic will now be officially known as the Republic of Northern Macedonia.

In a decades-old dispute, Greece wants the former Yugoslav republic to change or modify its name to avoid any claim to the territory and ancient heritage of Greece's region of Macedonia - birthplace of ancient warrior king Alexander the Great.

In Skopje, meanwhile, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said earlier in the day that he remained opposed to writing the new name into the constitution, a move meant to show the change is permanent and binding for domestic and worldwide use.

But Greeks seem cool to any deal involving the continued use of the name "Macedonia" by their northern neighbour.

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Athens, Skopje Reach Agreement on Constitutional Name of Macedonia

Last week, protests took place in both Greece and Macedonia against the proposed compromise.

Greece will then back invitations for Macedonia to join North Atlantic Treaty Organisation and start negotiations on joining the European Union.

Nato Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg added: "This historic agreement is testament to many years of patient diplomacy and to the willingness of these two leaders to solve a dispute which has affected the region for too long".

However, Mr Tsipras said, this will be contingent on Macedonia completing the constitutional changes. "I am keeping my fingers crossed".

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also declared a deal had been struck. So if you like The Pappas Post and want to help, please consider becoming a "philotimo subscriber".

The deal still needs to be approved by the Macedonian and Greek parliaments.

After the final agreement has been reached, a joint statement for the Greek and Macedonian public is expected to be published. Athens say that name implies territorial claims on a northern Greek province of the same name.

Veteran United Nations diplomat Matthew Nimetz, who has been a mediator in the name dispute since 1994, hailed the "leadership, vision and determination" of the foreign ministers of Greece and Macedonia, who have negotiated for months.

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