Macedonians on Sunday went to polls to vote and decide whether to retain their country’s name or to change it to the Republic of North Macedonia.
According to reports, this move was advised by the pro-Western government saying that if the country name changes, then this would pave way for EU and NATO membership, this, on the other hand, would resolve a decades-old name which has been in dispute between Macedonia and Greece.
However, according to reports the referendum held was one of the last hurdles whereby a deal was reached between Greece and Macedonia earlier in June. This deal was transpired to settle the ongoing quarrels between the two countries.
According to reports, the country name has largely affected Macedonia by prevented Macedonia in their interest of joining the major Western institutions previously after the country broke away from Yugoslavia in the year 1991.
Greece on the other hand own northern province called Macedonia, for decades has always maintained Macedonia’s name irrespective of all claims facing its territory. Greece nevertheless due to the dispute with Macedonia forced Macedonia in entering into the NATO and the EU relationship which later extended to entering forcefully into a relationship with the United Nations as the FYROM (Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia) which according to Macedonia was a provisional name.
On the other hand, Zoran Zaev, Macedonian Prime Minister in his interview with news reporters argued that accepting this new name will pay a price worth in admission into the NATO and the EU. But even though this is a great opportunity for the country, the nationalist opponents, on the other hand, said that this would undermine not only the country’s ability but also majority of the country ethnic identity in the Slavic majority population.
President Gjorge Ivanov nevertheless said that he was going to boycott the referendum. In the meanwhile, before the president boycotts this referendum, the polls are expected to be participated by 1.8 million voters which will be opened at 7 a.m. and then close at 7 p.m. in the referendum ballot papers, the question is simple. The question will be, Are you for EU and NATO membership with acceptance of the agreement with Greece. According to the laws this referendum is not advisory binding but the government is prepared in the outcome of the polls.