EU on hand to witness signatures, but are the celebrations premature?
The Greek and Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia prime ministers were joined by EU representatives on the beach of Lake Prespa, on the two countries' borders on Sunday, to sign an agreement that sees the latter nation become the Republic of Northern Macedonia.
"It's an historic event, for the two sides, for the Balkans, but also for the entire European Union and for Europe. Because first of all it shows that diplomacy, dialogue, and a willingness to find the solution brings a solution," said the EU's High Representative Frederica Mogerini.
A dispute over the name stopped Macedonia starting EU membership talks.
The head of Macedonian diplomacy now expects action.
"So we want a date for accession, to start the European journey by the end of this month at the European Council. It`s going to be a strategic disaster if we unlock one door, and there is another one just behind it," said the FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov.
Macedonia's main opposition party organized protests against the deal, and they are supported by the country's president, who can veto it.
"We don’t want to be Northern Macedonia. We want to be Macedonians. It`s what our ancestors were and what we will never cease to be," said one elderly woman in Skopje.
"We are Macedonians and we will always be Macedonians," said an elderly man.
"Skopje and Athens, after 25 years of negotiations, succeeded in reaching a historical agreement. although there are big challenges on the way to its implementation considering the resistance in both states towards this agreement," reports euronews' Borjan Jovanovski.