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Greek lawmakers to vote on Macedonia name deal’s last hurdle

February 7, 2019 GMT

ATHENS, Greece (AP) — A Greek parliament committee is debating whether to sign off on Macedonia joining NATO, the final hurdle to be cleared before its northern neighbor can formally be renamed North Macedonia.

The committee debate on Thursday began a process that is set to lead to a vote in parliament on Friday night. Lawmakers are expected to approve Macedonia’s accession.

While opposition parties don’t support the move, Greece’s left-led government controls the necessary majority needed for passage.

In that case, Greece would formally notify Macedonia within days and Macedonia would proceed with the name change.

Greece’s support for Macedonia becoming a NATO member was part of a deal that ended a 27-year dispute. Greece had argued that its small landlocked neighbor’s current name implied claims on Greek territory and cultural heritage.