FYROM Lawmakers to Vote on Name Change Deal with Greece

FYROM PM Zoran Zaev and Greece’s Alexis Tsipras (right) overlook as their foreign ministers sign the Prespa agreement

The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia parliament will vote Monday on whether to ratify the name change deal with Greece, a prerequisite that will open the way for the country’s accession to NATO and the European Union.

According to the Prespa agreement signed in June between the prime ministers of the two countries, FYROM has agreed to change its name to “Republic of North Macedonia” and make some constitutional changes to abolish articles that contain irredentist claims.

FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev needs to get two-thirds of lawmakers to amend the constitution to seal the deal. In order to achieve that, Zaev needs the support of 11 deputies from the right-wing opposition VMRO-DPMNE party, which vehemently opposes the Prespa agreement and called citizens to boycott the recent referendum on the name change.

About 91 percent of FYROM registered voters backed the deal in the Seprtember 30 ballot, but only one-third of the electorate went to the polls, thus making the results invalid.

Zaev has stated that if the name change fails to pass in parliament, he will be forced to call snap elections.