“North Macedonia” will probably be in use from February 15

Skopje, 30 January, 2019 - 18:00 (META) 

The new name of the country, “Republic of North Macedonia” will be officially in use from February 15. Government spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski  confirmed for “Meta” that the decisions arising from the Prespa Agreement will come into force 7 days after Greece ratifies Macedonia’s NATO Accession Protocol, and Greece is likely to ratify the protocol on February 8.

“In a symbolic gesture, the Greek government is likely to be the first country to ratify the North Atlantic Treaty Accession Protocol in NATO, as it aims to do it by February 8, say sources close to the topic,” Euractive wrote yesterday.

At yesterday’s session, the Government established an inter-ministerial body for the implementation of the obligations of the Prespa Agreement.

“The decisions related to the implementation of the provisions of the Prespa Agreement envisage a set of measures and activities to be undertaken by the Government of the Republic of Macedonia, as well as all other state administration bodies and all state institutions, arising from the adopted amendments to the Constitution of the Republic Macedonia, which will come into force 7 days after the ratification of the Protocol for the accession of our country to NATO by the Hellenic Republic, and which regulate the use of the new constitutional name in accordance with the amendments,” the government said.

According to the Government, changes will have to be made to the tables at border crossings, diplomatic and consular offices and at the entrances of all state institutions, public enterprises and state-owned enterprises by the foreseen deadline.

“Of course, this will not happen overnight, but it will be implemented within the stipulated deadline,” explains Bosnjakovski.

The Government will recommend the same procedure to the units of local self-government, while the sectors and public relations services of the state and public institutions “will receive guidelines for using the constitutional name in accordance with the adopted amendments.”

The five-year deadline begins from February 8, i.e. from the Greek ratification of the NATO Accession Protocol, for the entry of “North Macedonia” in all official documents, including passports and ID cards. Documents with the new name, according to the Prespa Agreement, will be issued after the regular expiration date, but no later than five years after the agreement comes into force.

Stoltenberg: There is no other way to NATO than “yes” in the referendum

Skopje, 7 September, 2018 - 12:50 (META) 

This is a historic opportunity, a unique opportunity to become a full member of the international community, but to do so, you must accept the Agreement with Greece. There is no other way! Said NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg to the Macedonian opposition at today’s press conference after meeting with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

“I know that some people think they can say “no” in the referendum, a “yes” to NATO, but there is no such alternative. The idea that the agreement with Greece can be ruled out and join NATO is a complete illusion,” Stoltenberg said, answering a journalist’s question regarding his meetings with President Gjorge Ivanov and opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski.

Stoltenberg said he understands how difficult the issue is because he attended the NATO summit in Bucharest in 2008, when the invitation to Macedonia was conditioned by a resolution to the name dispute with Greece.

“We are ready. Twenty-nine allies, including Greece, have decided to invite you. Negotiations have began, but they can not be completed if the agreement is not implemented. So, either agreement and membership, or, if there is no agreement, there is no membership,” emphasized the NATO Secretary General.

Gruevski: The Government is leading a political smear campaign and I will not show up at court

Skopje, 4 September, 2018 - 17:03 (META) 

The former Prime Minister and VMRO-DPMNE’s party leader, Nikola Gruevski announced at today’s press conference that he will not appear at the Appeal court tomorrow and during the trial at the “Tank” case neither his attorneys will attend, because, the decision was already decided politically.

Gruevski accused the government that it leads a political prosecution against him and while the judges are acting professionally but they work under duress.

Neither I nor my attorneys will show up at the court. Even their presence at the Appellate Court cannot change anything. No legal arguments are enough for a politcally motivated verdict and the politcal decision that was made in advance. If the judges are so frightened and have succumbed to political orders then this is an opportunity for making a political decision in my absence. No illegal imprisonment will erase from the people’s memories the acts that I have done for this country and people, in order to defend the state interests – said Gruevski.

He also said that he is not tried by the court but by politics.

-The Judiciary is persecuting me because I was the leader of VMRO-DPMNE and because I’m an obstacle to someone. The judges are professionals and are experts, but are working under great duress, and some are close to Zoran Zaev – said Gruevski and complained that a term was set for a hearing at a time when his attorneys were at a hearing concerning the attacks at the Parliament on the 27th of April, and he was at the Appellate for 11 hours.

Regarding the documents published by Wikileaks which claim that he had agreed to change the name into Republic of North Macedonia, Gruevski said that it was a futile attempt on part of the government and rubbish.

These are futile attempts by the government and probably there will more of thise. They are campaigning now and we shall hear all sorts of rubbish. It is clear why I’m at court and why I’m a subject of apolitical persecution and torture. If I agreed with the Greeks, the situation would have been different and I’m a man of principles and dignity – said Gruevski.

For the EU, Macedonia will be FYROM until Agreement with Greece is fully implemented

Brussels, 18 June, 2018 - 20:04 (META) 

Spokeswoman for the European Commission, Maja Kocijančić, said that until Greece and Macedonia fully implement the agreement reached over the name dispute, the European Union will continue to call the country by its provisional name.

“An agreement has been reached, however, a number of steps remain to be completed. For official purposes we will continue to call the country the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, as we have done so far with all our announcements”, said Kocijančić.

Government condemns violence and calls for atmosphere of reason and constructiveness

Skopje, 18 June, 2018 - 19:51 (META) 

The government strongly condemns the violence, hate speech and incitement to violence following yesterday’s events which were aimed at manipulating and harassing citizens, says the Government.

“We call for an atmosphere of reason and constructiveness so that a meaningful debate takes place and every Macedonian citizen has the opportunity to express his own opinion before the referendum is held, where the people can freely decide on a Macedonian prosperous future. No fear, intimidation or pressure. We urge citizens to show caution with a restrained attitude, so to recognize any fake news and misinformation that is spread via social media networks,”, reads the government statement.

25 demonstrators arrested and 7 police officers injured at protest outside Parliament

Skopje, 18 June, 2018 - 14:08 (META) 

At last nights protest outside Parliament, 7 police officers were injured and 25 demonstrators were detained, stated the MOI. More details will follow today.

“At yesterdays protest in Skopje, some of the protesters used explosive devices and violently pushed the protective fence, while forcefully trying to  enter Parliament. In order to prevent the situation escalating and a violent incursion of the Parliament building, and acting in accordance with rules and regulation, the police used tear gas”, said the Interior Ministry.

The Interior Ministry emphasized that while it respects the right to peaceful protest, it will not allow the use of force and violent attack, as well as disturbance of public order and peace, and appeals for a democratic way of expressing public opinion.

The protests were organized via social media networks after an agreement was signed by Macedonia and Greece yesterday to resolve the 27-year-old name dispute. The name of Macedonia will be Northern Macedonia (erga omnes).

VMRO-DPMNE: This is the agreement of capitulation that Zaev is proud of

Skopje, 18 June, 2018 - 11:15 (META) 

“Zoran Zaev is the biggest weapon the Greek side has had in the name negotiations. With this agreement, Zoran Zaev has made possible three major issues, which have caused irreversible damage. With this agreement, the name Macedonia is deleted, the Constitution will change and Macedonian identity is at risk”, read VMRO-DPMNE’s statement after the agreement was signed today with Greece.

According to the opposition, the agreement will shame hundreds of generations in the future.

“VMRO-DPMNE is opposed to this agreement of capitulation. This is an agreement where all Greece’s demands are fulfilled one hundred percent. With the agreement, Macedonia is being dismantled, its identity changed”, added the statement.

Ivanov to address the nation after storming out of meeting with Zaev and Dimitrov

Skopje, 14 June, 2018 - 1:00 (META) 

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov tried to inform President Gjorge Ivanov of the name agreement reached with Greece, but the president’s office say the meeting lasted two minutes.

“Today, President Ivanov will address the people and citizens of Macedonia,” announced Ivanov’s office.

In a statement sent by the government, it reads “Prime Minister Zaev and Foreign Minister Dimitrov had a constructive attempt to present and discuss the content of the agreement, but President Ivanov interrupted and abandoned the meeting and refused to discuss the benefits of this historic agreement on the Macedonian future “.

“The government urges all political factors to unite over national priorities and to support the prosperity of citizens and Macedonia’s entry into NATO and the EU. Citizens have finally got a chance to write a new chapter in the history of our country and nobody has the right to prevent them from making the right decision for Macedonia’s future, ” said the government statement.

Poll: Majority of citizens are against any change to the name

Skopje, 3 May, 2018 - 13:17 (META) 

No change in the name is the attitude of almost half of the citizens or 47.1 percent, according to the latest poll by the MCIC and the Institute for Democracy, published by Telma. Only 14.4 percent of citizens would accept a “double formula”, nearly as much as 14.1 would accept a name for overall use or ‘erga omnes’. An agreed name for international organizations is acceptable to 13.6 percent of the respondents, while 10.1 percent would support an agreed name for overall international use.

The poll by the MCIC and the Institute for Democracy covered the issue of changing the Constitution, showing that this is unacceptable for 48.3 percent of citizens, compared to only 16.4 percent of which a change of the constitutional name is acceptable. Regarding ethnicity, 60.7 percent of Macedonians do not accept any change in the Constitution, while 41.8 percent of Albanians accept the constitutional name change.

The public opinion poll showed which adjective or addition of the name would be the most acceptable for citizens to reach a solution. 17.1 percent for “Gorna”, for “Skopje”, 11.9 percent, for “Nova” – 9.5, for “North” 8.1 percent and for Vardarska 5.9 percent. The majority of respondents 44, percent are not for any addition.

Regarding the issue of citizenship or nationality according to the definitions in the United Nations, out of the offered four options, the largest number of 47.9 percent stated that citizenship should be written as македонско/ Macedonian. An eventual option – a citizen of the Republic of Upper Macedonia translated into English is acceptable for 14.4 percent.The most acceptable definition of language in the United Nations for 45.7 percent is “Macedonian” – with a translation into English, while 16.5 percent find “Macedonian” written in Latin acceptable.

Dimitrov, Kotzias and Nimetz to meet on Wednesday in Vienna

Skopje, 23 April, 2018 - 17:44 (META) 

Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov will meet with Foreign Minister of Greece Nikos Kotzias, along with UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, on April 25 (Wednesday afternoon) in Vienna, reports the MFA.

Last week, Kotzias, in an interview with Greek radio “24/7” regarding the talks and the points for which he was negotiating, said identity is a matter of self-determination, and for the nationality the new name will be used, ie the passports will be “a citizen to that and that country, a national of the name for which there is contract. ”