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FYROM Ratifies 'North Macedonia' Deal with Greece Amid Opposition Boycott

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Lawmakers in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Wednesday ratified the name deal with Greece in a first-step vote which was boycotted by the country’s main opposition party.
The necessary legislation was passed by 69-0 in the 120-seat chamber but VMRO-DPMNE lawmakers did not attend. The party is bitterly opposed to the deal with Athens which will see the country renamed ‘North Macedonia’.
Speaking ahead of Wednesday’s vote, FYROM premier Zoran Zaev said the deal represented a “dignified” accord between Skopje and Athens on an issue which had dogged the two nations for years.
Getting approval for the deal in FYROM will prove challenging; the legislation will be given to President Gjorge Ivanov to sign. However, Ivanov has already said he will refuse to ratify it.
Zaev will have to take the deal to parliament again where he will simply need a majority vote.
By the end of September, beginning of October, Zaev will also hold a referendum on renaming the state as ‘North Macedonia’.

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