According to Mikrofonnews Agency (MHA), Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has said he will not sign a deal reached with Greece on changing his country’s name.
President Ivanov said the agreement, which would rename Macedonia as the ‘Republic of Severna (Northern) Macedonia’, gave too many concessions to Greece. “My position is final and I will not yield to any pressure, blackmail or threats. I will not support or sign such a damaging agreement,” Mr. Ivanov told a news conference, according to The Independent.
The president has the backing of the nationalist opposition VMRO-DPMNE, and said that Macedonia’s possible future membership of the EU and Nato was not enough of a reason to sign the “bad agreement”.
“We will oppose this deal of capitulation with all democratic and legal means,” VMRO-DPMNE head Hristijan Mickoski told a news conference, branding the agreement “an absolute defeat for Macedonian diplomacy”.
The deal reached by the two countries’ prime minister is expected to be signed by their foreign ministers this weekend. After that, Macedonia’s parliament would vote on it, and if it is approved, Mr Ivanov’s signature would be needed.