“President Gjordje Ivanov says he will not sign deal, as Greek leader faces wrath at home
Macedonia’s president said on Wednesday he would not sign a landmark deal reached with Greece on changing his country’s name, dashing hopes of a swift end to a diplomatic dispute that has blocked its bid to join the European Union and Nato.
In Greece, the prime minister, Alexis Tsipras, faced a barrage of criticism and the prospect of a no-confidence vote against his government as he and Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev announced the accord late on Tuesday.
Under the deal, Macedonia would become formally known as the Republic of Severna (North) Macedonia. It is currently known officially at the United Nations as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
Greece has long objected to its northern neighbour’s use of the name Macedonia, saying it implies territorial claims on a northern Greek province of that name and also amounts to appropriation of Greece’s ancient cultural heritage.
‘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,’ Macedonian president Gjordje Ivanov told a news conference in Skopje.” (The Guardian)