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Macedonia

Breakthrough for Macedonia by renaming to The Republic of North Macedonia.

Macedonia and Greece reached a memorable point in history on October 28, 2018. The conflict of the name of the state of Macedonia comes at an end. Until now Greece prevented Macedonia from entering the NAVO and the European Union. The dispute is during over more than 30 years. Finally, this ended in 2018 by changing the name. Why would the name of a country be such an obstacle for entering the European Union and the NAVO you ask? To explain this, we need to dive back in history.

If we want to understand the name dispute between Greece and Macedonia. We need to go back to 336 before Christ. That year we see a powerful state ruled by Philippus II. His ruling led to increasing welfare resulting in a powerful army.

In his lifetime, Philippus II conquers surrounding states including important Greek states while uniting his and the captured population. Macedonia is at this time one of the richest states, trained one of the most powerful armies, and was political strong united.

A new era

A time of change arrived in 336 before Christ. Alexander the Great was crowned King after his father got killed. He now stood for the challenge of uprising factions that were held together by the ruling of his father. Luckily for Alexander the Great, the heritage of his father included one of the most experienced and powerful armies at that time.

After defeating the uprising factions, Alexander the Great was focused to continue the dreams of his father. He started his conquest to conquer the Persian and Egyptian states to become a superpower. He wanted to achieve a peaceful chapter in history. Therefore he needed to defeat the enemies of the state. In his conquest, he fought many historic battles, writing history.

After his death, the superpower felt apart. As result, the remainings of the powerful superpower knew many conflicts and new rulers.

The 20th century

After the Second World War, the lands that were earlier known as the remainings of the superpower were mainly divided between Yugoslavia and Greece. This caused unrest and conflicts. The people of the Yugoslavian part of Macedonia demanded independence because they felt they had earned this by the proud history of characters like Alexander the Great and Philippus II.

Eventually in 1991 at 8 September a referendum was held for the independence claim from Yugoslavia. The results of the referendum were favorable. 96.4% of the people supported the forming of the Republic of Macedonia. This was massive because the attendance of the registered voters was 75.7 %. They succeeded and claimed their independence.

This caused mixed feelings for Greece and they required that the independent Republic of Macedonia got renamed to FYROM (former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. This was driven out of fear that Greece would lose their part of Macedonia and the claims of the historic inheritance. To protect their precious inheritance, Greece prevented Macedonia from entering the European Union unless the Republic of Macedonia got renamed. This caused a name conflict for over 30 years between the two countries.

The ending of the feud

Finally, in September 2018 The Republic of Macedonia held a referendum to rename their state and end the conflict with the higher picture of entering the European Union. Unfortunately, a sad victory was booked with a positive result but a 37% attendance vote. To proceed with the plans of renaming to Severna Makedonija or to the Republic of North Macedonia a change in the constitutional amendment was needed.

The Macedonian parliament voted in October for the renaming. The majority voted for this change. 80 of the 120 parliamentarians voted for renaming to the Republic of North Macedonia. This change is huge because this ends the 30 years during conflict with Greece. Now the doors are open for negotiations to enter the NAVO and EU to accomplish their strategic goals for the prosperity of the Republic of North Macedonia.

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February 6, 2019
Rutger Leeuwrik

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