PM urges Macedonians to approve name deal in referendum

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jul. 31, 2018 at 7:15 a.m.

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SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia's prime minister is urging his countrymen to vote in an upcoming referendum in favor of a deal with neighboring Greece that changes his country's name to "North Macedonia."

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, speaking in the capital of Skopje on Tuesday, said the Sept. 30 referendum is an opportunity for people to make a "historic decision." The agreement ends a decades-old dispute with Greece that had prevented Macedonia, a former Yugoslav republic, from joining NATO and the EU.

Zaev urged Macedonians to "say 'Yes!' and to grab the opportunities offered by the European Union. Let's say 'Yes!' for guaranteed stability and security through NATO membership."

Greece has long argued that the name Macedonia implies territorial claims over its own northern province of the same name.

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