Process of changing signboards to ‘Republic of North Macedonia’ begins
The process of changing signs to “Republic of North Macedonia” has begun in the former Yugoslav republic, following the Greek Parliament’s vote to approve Skopje’s Nato accession protocol.
Reports from Skopje said that the “Government of the Republic of Macedonia” nameplate already had been removed from the government building.
Other places where the process of changing signs was expected to begin on February 11 included other state buildings and the legislature in Skopje.
Among the first places where new “Republic of North Macedonia” signs were to be put up included the Bogorodica-Evzonoi checkpoint, the main border crossing with Greece.
Media reports in Skopje on February 11 said that, however, there already had been acts of vandalism against the new signs.
The “North” had been crossed out and the word “Never!” added. The Interior Ministry reportedly was to take steps to safeguard the new signs.
Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s Social Democratic Union of Macedonia was reported to be considering options to change its name to incorporate the “North Macedonia” concept.
Skopje was awaiting a note verbale from Athens on February 11, giving formal notice of the Greek Parliament’s approval of the Nato accession protocol and of its earlier ratification of the Prespa Agreement.
The June 2018 Prespa agreement between Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his counterpart from Skopje, Zoran Zaev, was reached to end the decades-long dispute over the former Yugoslav republic’s use of the name “Republic of Macedonia”.
At the weekend, the government in Skopje said that it would gazette the constitutional changes regarding the country’s name in the official gazette, and would give notice to the United Nations and other international bodies of which the country is a member.
Media in Athens reported Greece’s Alternate Foreign Minister George Katrougalos as saying that as of February 11, all official documentation regarding the neighbouring country should refer to “Republic of North Macedonia”.