Turnout for Macedonian name change vote is low

Macedonia vote brings back Cold War fears

The West has taken a keen interest in the referendum.

With ballots from 93% of polling stations counted, 91.3% of votes cast Sunday favoured the name changing to North Macedonia, compared to 5.7% opposed, according to the electoral commission's official count. In a peaceful and democratic vote an overwhelming majority of those who exercised their right to vote said yes to the Prespa agreement on the name issue and their European path.

Macedonian officials say history books will likely have to be revised and that explanatory plaques will be laid before statues of Alexander the Great and other contested monuments.

Tzanakopoulos said the opportunity to solve a long-standing dispute between Athens and Skopje should not be wasted and said Greek authorities were flexible regarding the time frame described in the June deal.

His aides acknowledge they are in for a tough political fight in the 120-seat parliament and fear disruption from nationalists, some allegedly funded by the Kremlin, as they forge ahead.

With Sunday's referendum proposing the new name "Republic of North Macedonia", the country hopes to resolve a row poisoning relations with Greece and blocking efforts to join the European Union and NATO.

When Yugoslavia broke up Macedonia declared its independence and took the name Republic of Macedonia, Greece objected as its northern region is also called Macedonia.

With no solution in sight, the new country continued to be officially known by the name it was admitted to the United Nations as: the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, or FYROM.

Zaev said that he would give some ten days to efforts to persuade at least some of the opposition MPs from the opposition VMRO DPMNE party to support the deal in parliament before opting for elections.

Greece's parliament must also approve the June name deal and, like Zaev, leftist Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras also faces opposition from his nationalist foes.

"Instead of manipulating he should face the reality and reject this agreement, which is at the expense of the Republic of Macedonia", it said in a statement on Monday.

"Nato's door is open" and Macedonian MPs ought to " seize this historic opportunity", he said. Macedonian opponents see changing their country's name as a national humiliation.

The deal would "contribute to regional stability, security, and prosperity", it added, among concerns that if people in the Western Balkans lost hope in European Union enlargement prospects, it could open up a hornet's nest of old hostilities - just two decades after the last Balkan wars.

In an interview with VOA, he said "we are very sensitive to the role that Russian Federation continues to play across this region". In 2016, Moscow was accused of trying to mount a coup in Montenegro to prevent it from joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

EURACTIV asked Hahn if the "exploratory screening" would have happened without the Skopje-Athens agreement. "Illustrated by the use of energy as a political weapon".

Disputes in the region "must be settled on the basis of mutual consent of all the interested parties, with full respect of the opinion of the population of the relevant countries", he said during a visit last month to Bosnia-Herzegovina.

"The people who voted against the agreement, and those who chose through abstention to show what they think, have sent the loudest message - [that] this is Macedonia!"

"We hope that Mr. Zaev's initiative for a constitutional reform will be successful", he said.

"I think it would be very hard for the prime minister to reach the deal with the opposition lawmakers over the constitutional changes and to continue with the next phase", Political analyst Petar Arsovski said.

"In the coming week we will assess if we can secure the necessary majority for the constitutional changes, and if not we will call an early election", Defence Minister Radmila Sekerinska told Reuters.

Related news:

Hot News

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Black Surface accidentally leaked by Microsoft
Oct 02, 2018 - 22:07
Surface Laptop 2 will retain the form factor of the predecessor but will improve in terms of specifications. Its recent Surface Book 2 and Surface laptop are known for their capable performance and premium design.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Amazon raises wages for lower-paid workers
Oct 02, 2018 - 22:03
Amazon spokesman Jay Carney said: "We will be working to gain Congressional support for an increase in the federal minimum wage". Workers have been protesting against fast food chains like McDonald's Corp and demanding wage increases since 2012.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top White House: FBI Investigation Into Kavanaugh Isn't Being Limited
Oct 02, 2018 - 22:00
White House counsellor Kellyanne Conway said the investigation would be "limited in scope" and "will not be a fishing expedition". President Donald Trump stressed on Monday an FBI investigation into the accusations should be thorough but swift.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Tesla shares spike on SEC truce, strong Model 3 report
Oct 02, 2018 - 21:58
As Tesla's largest shareholder, Musk is likely to retain a seat on the board and have influence in determining his successor as chair.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump to Send Out Nationwide Text in Emergency Alert System Test
Oct 02, 2018 - 21:55
That test will assess the effectiveness of sending out "a national message and determine whether improvements are needed". The test is for the Wireless Emergency Alert system in coordination with the Federal Communications Commission.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Elon Musk’s "Funding Secured" Tweet Just Cost Him & Tesla $40 Million
Oct 01, 2018 - 19:38
Under terms of the agreement, Musk also must give up his seat as chairman of the board of directors for at least three years. Tesla will also need to bring a couple more independent directors on board.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Who is Nobel Medicine Prize victor James P Allison?
Oct 01, 2018 - 18:45
The Nobel jury said that "for more than 100 years, scientists attempted to engage the immune system in the fight against cancer". Meanwhile, Honjo, who is now a professor at Kyoto University in Japan, discovered a similar immune system-braking protein.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Plane crash, 4 in hospital
Oct 01, 2018 - 18:31
Air Niugini in a statement said the U.S. divers have confirmed that all the passengers were safely evacuated from the aircraft. A Papua New Guinea accident investigation team flew to Micronesia on Friday, the Post Courier newspaper reported.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top U.S. and Canada reach last-minute deal to preserve NAFTA
Oct 01, 2018 - 12:58
In force since 1994, Nafta eliminated tariffs on most goods and governs more than US$ 1 trillion in trade on the continent. Reaching a deal would remove a key irritant in the trading relationship between the USA and Canada, its top export market.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Ashleigh Barty downs Wimbledon champion Angelique Kerber
Sep 30, 2018 - 19:26
Wang broke Puig six times and saved seven of the eight break points she faced. "Today's win makes me very, very happy", she said. Wang powered past Daria Gavrilova 7-5 6-2.

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top No one needs to remind me how good Hazard is, says Klopp
Sep 30, 2018 - 19:00
He reacted to the strike on Instagram , posting a video of the goal with a caption that revealed his thoughts. We have got to try and beat Liverpool on Saturday ".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Matt Damon Is Brett Kavanaugh In SNL’s Season Opener
Sep 30, 2018 - 18:57
Damon mastered Kavanaugh's blustering remarks, complete with tearful references to his high school calendar. Trump's cabinet and also for a regional production of 'The Crucible '".

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Brett Kavanaugh: Looking ahead to what's next for the Supreme Court nominee
Sep 30, 2018 - 17:11
But the results could also raise more questions about Kavanaugh, and trigger enough opposition to sink his nomination. Ramirez and she has agreed to cooperate with their investigation", Boulder attorney John Clune said on Twitter .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top Trump says he and North Korea’s Kim ‘fell in love’
Sep 30, 2018 - 16:59
Ri also said that North Korea was "unwavering" in its commitment to implementing the joint declaration signed in Singapore by U.S. President Donald Trump and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un .

isis-killer-beheading-video-story-top British opposition leader Jeremy Corbyn meets EU on Brexit
Sep 28, 2018 - 18:30
He warned that as time runs out to get a Brexit deal, "companies are losing patience" and planning to relocate overseas . If EU and Britain agree on a deal, it must be approved by individual nations before Britain leaves.