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The Latest: Macedonian lawmakers ratify Greece name deal


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SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The Latest on Macedonia's name dispute with Greece (all times local):

1 p.m.

Macedonia's parliament has ratified a historic deal with neighboring Greece for the second time in two weeks, after the Macedonian president temporarily blocked the agreement.

A total of 69 lawmakers in the 120-strong parliament approved the deal, under which the country would be renamed "North Macedonia."

All lawmakers from the conservative main opposition party abstained from Thursday's vote in protest at the agreement, which they say cedes too much to Greece.

President Gjorge Ivanov — who says the agreement is unconstitutional — refused to sign off on it. Under Macedonia's constitution, Ivanov can no longer block it after lawmakers ratify it for a second time.

___

12:50 p.m.

Macedonian lawmakers are debating a historic deal with neighboring Greece for the second time in two weeks, after Macedonia's president temporarily blocked the agreement.

Parliament initially approved the deal, under which the country would be renamed "North Macedonia," on June 20.

But President Gjorge Ivanov — who says the agreement is unconstitutional — refused to sign off on it.

Under Macedonia's constitution, if lawmakers ratify the deal again later Thursday, as expected, then Ivanov can no longer block it.

However, the president might delay signing off on the deal, triggering a constitutional crisis and a showdown with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Full implementation of the agreement will take months, and is subject to a referendum in Macedonia and a parliamentary vote in Greece.

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