Greeks approve deal to rename Macedonia

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(VOVWORLD) -Greek lawmakers on Friday ratified a landmark name change deal with Macedonia, approving the new name "Republic of North Macedonia" for its northern neighbor two weeks after a similar vote by Macedonian lawmakers. 
Greeks approve deal to rename Macedonia - ảnh 1

The Greek parliament has approved Macedonia's new name. (Photo: VNA) 

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev congratulated his Greek counterpart following the ratification, saying that they have reached a historical victory, and that the deal is the foundation for long-term peace and progress of Europeans.  

The 153 to 146 vote by the Greek Parliament now essentially clears a path for Greece’s northern neighbor Macedonia, under its new name, to join NATO and potentially the European bloc. Macedonia has already ratified the deal, which seeks to end a 27-year old row between Athens and Skopje.

The settlement renames the tiny Balkan state "Republic of North Macedonia," to differentiate it from Greece's northern province of Macedonia. Greece had fiercely objected to its neighbor’s use of the name Macedonia, arguing that it appropriated Greek history going back to Alexander the Great and implied territorial ambitions over the northern Greek territory of the same name.