Macedonia expected to support new name, but low turnout

Macedonia expected to support new name, but low turnoutMacedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev voiced confidence that those who voted in Sunday’s national referendum have accepted the plan to rename the country and thereby end a decades-long spat with Greece. “I think the huge majority of the citizens who voted have chosen the European path for Macedonia,” the social-democrat leader said, stopping short to explicitly announce the victory of the ‘yes’ camp at a press conference held an hour after the polls closed at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT). Two-thirds of voters stayed away from the polling stations for the non-binding referendum on whether to change the name of the country to “North Macedonia”.


Source: Yahoo! News

Mattis in Macedonia to counter 'Russian influence' against name change

Mattis in Macedonia to counter 'Russian influence' against name changeUS Defence Secretary Jim Mattis arrived in skopje Monday to back a ‘yes’ vote at this month’s referendum on Macedonia’s name change and counter what he called “Russian influence” against the move. On September 30, Macedonians vote on whether to change the country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia, which could open the door to NATO and EU membership. The planned vote follows a landmark deal on the change signed by Athens and Skopje in June in a bid to break a stalemate that has poisoned their relations since 1991 and hobbled Macedonia’s integration with the West.


Source: Yahoo! News