Macedonian president urges rejection of Greece name deal

December 28, 2018 GMT

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia’s president has urged parliament to reject a deal with Greece under which his country would amend its constitution and change its name to North Macedonia in return for being able to join NATO.

Gjorge Ivanov, a longtime critic of the name deal, spoke Friday in his annual address to lawmakers. He claimed under the accord that Macedonia would be paying the “highest price” with the “deletion” of its national identity.

In Macedonia, the prime minister is the head of government and the president has limited power. Lawmakers from the governing left-wing coalition interrupted his speech several times with boos.

Macedonia and Greece struck the deal in June to end a decades-long dispute over Macedonia’s name, which Greece says harbors territorial claims on its northern province of the same name.