Saturday, January 26, 2019
In an emotional and highly-divisive vote, the Greek Parliament voted 153-146 to approve its neighbor's name change from FYROM (the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) to North Macedonia. The measure will now allow North Macedonia to join NATO and the European Union.
The Republic of Macedonia had declared independence in 1991 during the disintegration of Yugoslavia. Greece blocked the Republic of Macedonia from joining NATO and the European Union because it objected to the name. Greece feared that the name chosen would eventually lead that country to claim the Greek province of Macedonia as its own.
Many Greeks will still reject the name North Macedonia, as seen by the closeness of the parliamentary vote. But the Greek Parliament's approval of the new name will now clear the way for North Macedonia to join both NATO and the European Union.