Macedonia name row: Greek PM survives no-confidence vote

Athens: Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on Wednesday narrowly sailed through a no-confidence vote, paving the way for the Parliament to ratify an accord to officially change the name of Macedonia to Republic of North Macedonia.

Tsipras won the vote 151 votes to 148 thereby averting snap elections that he had called.

Terming the win as a ‘vote in favour of stability’, Tsipras was quoted by euronews as saying, “Today the Greek Parliament gave a vote of confidence in stability. We received a vote of confidence with our only concern to continue to address the needs and interests of the Greek people.”

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On Sunday, the Greek Prime Minister called for the no-confidence vote after his right-wing coalition partner Panos Kammenos resigned in protest against the accord.

For decades, Macedonia has been trying to gain membership of the North American Treaty Organisation (NATO) and the European Union (EU). However, Greece raised objections to the official usage of Macedonia’s name, arguing that it implies territorial aspirations against a northern Greek region with the same name.

At the same time, Greece also claimed that using Macedonia’s name officially was an attempt to annex the ancient civilisation of Macedonia, which was a Greek Kingdom ruled by Philip II of Macedon and Alexander the Great.

The agreement signed on June 12 last year by Macedonian lawmakers to change the name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia that would wipe out the last remnant of Yugoslavia’s name from the world map.


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