Top 5 cases of disinformation about the Prespa Agreement


On 17.06.2018, in the village of Nivici (Psarades) on the Greek coast of Prespa Lake, the foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikolaos Kotzias, have signed the “FINAL AGREEMENT FOR THE SETTLEMENT OF THE DIFFERENCES AS DESCRIBED IN THE UNITED NATIONS SECURITY COUNCIL RESOLUTIONS 817 (1993) AND 845 (1993), THE TERMINATION OF THE INTERIM ACCORD OF 1995, AND THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A STRATEGIC PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN THE PARTIES“.

The document ordains new name for the Republic of Macedonia (RM) i.e. “Republic of North Macedonia”, which will be used erga omnes i.e. in any occasion in the country and abroad. The official language of the country is Macedonian, while the nationality will be “Macedonian/citizen of Republic of North Macedonia”. The Agreement was also signed by Matthew Nimetz, the UN mediator. This Agreement, also known as the Prespa Agreement, puts an end to the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece.

Both sides have reached a consent that the Agreement should first be ratified by the Assembly of RM, which should write and then adopt constitutional amendments in Macedonia pursuant to the said Agreement, and afterwards the Agreement will be ratified by the Parliament of Greece, as well.

The Agreement has been welcomed by many leaders worldwide, while the public in Macedonia was left divided.  Some of the citizens supported, while some were against the Agreement. That was the main reason for spreading disinformation on the Agreement, and Nikola Dimitrov, Minister of Foreign Affairs, deemed that it was necessary to deny such disinformation on a special press conference.

Here we would like to present TOP 5 cases of the disinformation related to the Prespa Agreement.



“Republic of North Macedonia” does not mean Republic of Northern Macedonia. This was the opinion of Professor Biljana Vankovska, once the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev on 12.6.2018 on the press conference held in the Government confirmed that Macedonia and Greece have reached a consent about the name of our country.

The English version of the proposed name (Republic of North Macedonia) does not mean Republic of Northern Macedonia but Republic in the North of Macedonia. Otherwise our country’s name would be Republic of Northern Macedonia, stated Vankovska for Faktor.

Vistinomerchecked this claim of the Professor Vankovska and came to the conclusion that it was not true.

In the English language there are two forms of the word northern: “north” and “northern”. The word north is simultaneously a noun (north) and adjective (northern). If the word stands in front of another noun it becomes an adjective. Northern is just an adjective. However, the form that is commonly used for geographic features, such as continents, states, etc. would be north, announced “Vistinomer”.



The main argument of the opposing party and the critics about the Prespa Agreement is that by concluding such Agreement, the Macedonian Government “has sold” our identity and our language.

The reaction of the opposing party VMRO-DPMNE, immediately after signing the Agreement, was that such Agreement has done irreparable damage to the country.

Zoran Zaev is the greatest weapon the Greek side ever had in the negotiations about the name.  By concluding such Agreement, Zoran Zaev causes irreparable damage to our country. The Agreement foresees deleting the name Macedonia, amending the Constitution and endangering the Macedonian identity.

Trajko Veljanoski, former Speaker of the Parliament, on the parliamentary Commission debate about the constitutional amendments, held on 7.11.2018, indicated that we would become “North Macedonians” with the Agreement.

In our homes we will call ourselves Macedonians, but when we go outside people will call us “North Macedonians” Mr. Zaev, said VMRO-DPMNE MP, Trajko Veljanoski to the Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.

Such claim of the opposing party and of the people who are against the Agreement is wrong, “Vistinomer” writes.  Namely, the Agreement foresees the new name of the country to be “Republic of North Macedonia”, and this name will be used and translated in all languages; however, there is no provision therein endangering the Macedonian identity and specificity, and the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” will not be deleted.

On the contrary, Article 7, paragraph (3) of the Agreement guarantees the Macedonian identity and the right to identify ourselves as Macedonians.

With regards to the second party to the Agreement, these terms (“Macedonia” and “Macedonian”, n.b.) mark the country’s territory, language, people and their characteristics, with their own history, culture and heritage, which quite differ from the ones referred to in Article 7, paragraph (2). 



On 19.9.2018, Aleksandar Nikoloski, Vice President of VMRO-DPMNE, in “Otvoreno Studio” show broadcasted on 1TV, stated that the constitutional amendments have already been written by Greece and submitted to the Government of Republic of Macedonia.

According to our information, I invite the Government to deny our claim. The constitutional amendments in the part referring to the change of the name of Republic of Macedonia into Republic of North Macedonia, the modification of the Preamble, Article 3 and Article 49 have already been written and it is a done deal. They were given by Greece in form of a non-paper to the representatives of the Macedonian Government. Even the constitutional amendments have not been written by the Macedonian Assembly, as it should have been done in a procedure which should have been initiated after the Referendum; they were already written and submitted by the Greek Government. Practically, when that process begins, if it ever begins, it will be just acting and a hoax, pretending that amendments have been made, which have already been written in advance, and whose content we do not know, since it has not been announced to the public, pointed out Nikoloski.

Such claims by the opposing party VMRO-DPMNE were also a subject to review by “Vistinomer”, which were deemed untrue.

Item 11 of the Agreement foresees that the prompt adoption of the constitutional amendments should be realized immediately after the ratification of the Agreement in the Assembly or after the Referendum if the “second party to the Agreement” decides the Referendum to be conducted.  Since a Referendum has been called for in this particular case, the Government has a legal coverage regarding the explanation why the content of the amendments will be announced after the Referendum, writes “Vistinomer”.



On 7.8.2018, VMRO-DMPNE opposing party came out with statement, which claims that the Prespa Agreement foresees change of the international codes and abbreviations.

The Agreement clearly indicates that the Macedonian language will be the only language which will be placed in a footnote in the United Nations, unlike the way it is now written. The Macedonian nationality will be replaced with citizens of Republic of North Macedonia. International codes and abbreviations will be changed as well. Other state symbols which are deemed to remain unchanged are the ones that SDSM has already changed in the past, says the opposing party.

On 29.6.2018, Orce Gjorgjievski, member of the EC of VMRO-DPMNE stated the same opinion.

Zaev lies that there will be no change of codes. Pursuant to the Agreement for change of the name, signed by Zaev and Dimitrov, the codes will be changed and instead of MK and MKD the codes NM and NMK will be used, said Gjorgjievski.

What VMRO-DPMNE forgot to emphasize is that the codes and abbreviations will be changed only for the registration plates and that is clearly indicated in Agreement.

The country code on the registration plates of the vehicles of the second party to the Agreement will be NM or NMK. For all other purposes, the country code shall remain MK or MKD, as officially determined by the International Standards Organization (ISO). 



On several occasions in his addresses with regards to the Referendum, Hristijan Mickoski, leader of VMRO-DPMNE, pointed out that “Zaev and his governmental escort would establish a commission which will revise our history”.

We have Zoran Zaev and his governmental escort. A man and people that do not have a problem to talk about how much they appreciate and respect the past, while in the meantime they cold-heartedly establish a commission which will revise our history, an obligation that they have taken upon themselves on behalf of all of us, even though no one has given them that right.

“Vistinomer” clarified this spin by Mickoski, indicating that the Agreement foresees establishing of a commission which should review and revise some truths, and not only from our history. 

This commission is interdisciplinary and formed of representatives from both Macedonia and Greece, and its task, as well as the date of its formation, are stipulated by Article 8 of the Agreement, but also by Article 20, which provisions the transitory and the final directions.

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