Greece-FYROM agreed to “North Macedonia” name in deal

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said on Tuesday that FYROM has agreed to be called Severna Makedonija (“Republic of North Macedonia”) as part of an agreement to settle the name dispute between the two nations.

The agreement will be signed by the foreign ministers of both countries and will then head to FYROM’s parliament for approval, said the Greek premier in a televised speech.

“I am deeply convinced that this agreement will be a diplomatic victory and also a large historic oppurtunity,” he said

If FYROM does not make the necessary changes to its constitution, as foreseen in the deal, then this will cancel the invitation to join the NATO military alliance and start enduction talks with the European Union, added Tsipras.

The name North Macedonia will be used internationally in English instead of Severna Macedonia as some hoped.

Critics also said that loose ends with regard to the name’s commercial use also remain, while the transition phase until the deal is completed in its entirety may take up to two years.

Controversially for some, the deal also states that Greece recognizes a Macedonian language – even though Tsipras said that a clear distinction will be drawn in FYROM’s constitution between the “Macedonian” identity of FYROM’s citizens and ancient Greek Macedonia, and will link it to Slavic settlements in the area in the 6th century.

It will stress that the Macedonian language belongs to the South Slavic group of languages, Tsipras said. According to a non-paper that was distributed, the deal doesn’t recognize a Macedonian “ethnicity.”