Deal between Greece and its Neighbour

Greece has seemingly reached a deal on the future name of its northern neighbour, which called itself Macedonia at the break-up of the former Yugoslavia.

After years of protests and seemingly endless diplomacy, the two have settled on the name Republic of North Macedonia, or Severna Makedonija in Macedonian.

The aim of the deal is to remove Greece’s block on its neighbour’s bid to join Nato and the European Union. But first it will need to be approved by the Macedonian people and Greek parliament.

The problem with the former Yugoslavian state naming the country Macedonia, is that the name already belongs to a northern region of Greece that includes the country’s second city Thessaloniki. By adopting the same identity in 1991, the new Slavic nation infuriated many Greeks, who suspected their northern neighbour of territorial ambitions.

The new Macedonians did not help matters when they named the main airport in the capital, Skopje, after Ancient Greek hero Alexander the Great, as well as a key motorway running from the Serbian to the Greek border.