Divided over a name: Republic of Northern Macedonia

Divided over a name: Republic of Northern Macedonia
By Malgosia Krakowska
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Divided over a name: Republic of Northern Macedonia


The long-running dispute over the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is far from over, especially on social media.

The issue has split not just Greeks and Macedonians but also Macedonians within the country.

Five people gave Euronews their opinions on a controversial deal, signed Sunday morning, to call the country the Republic of Northern Macedonia. 

"It's not acceptable. They want to change our history. They want to change our identity," Kristina from Skopje told Euronews.

Another anonymous man agreed, saying: "We don't need a new name. We already have a name — our name is Macedonia."

Like these two citizens, many others, whose parents and grandparents have lived in the FYR Macedonia, are very attached to their national identity. They still refuse to accept any other name for their country and say it’s unconstitutional.

On the other hand, some eye an opportunity for their nation.

Allan, who lives in Vienna, said that while he doesn't think the dispute over FYROM's name was handled well, it was an issue that had to be resolved.

"Now we can finally move on," he said. "Macedonia can actually go into the international community in a great capacity."  

The deal between the two countries was signed by their delegations on Sunday (June 17) morning and Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev received a standing ovation from guests at the lakeside ceremony.

However, it still requires ratification by both national parliaments and approval by referendum in FYROM, which is not assured.

For Macedonians, the final decision is likely to be made in the referendum later this year. Yet still, people in this small, European country remain torn apart between “national threat” and " future opportunity”.

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