A referendum to approve or reject a proposition to officially rename the country will be held nationwide on Sunday, September 30. The referendum will decide whether to move forward in renaming the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia. Demonstrations are possible throughout Macedonia, and especially in Skopje, in the coming weeks.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev agreed on June 12 to rename the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of North Macedonia. If ratified in both countries, the accords would put an end to the long-standing name dispute that prevents Macedonia from gaining NATO and EU membership.
The naming dispute between the two countries has been ongoing for decades. Some Greek critics have claimed that the name "Macedonia" connotes aspirations for the territorial annexation of the eponymous northern Greek region, and appropriates the history of ancient Macedonia once ruled by the Greek Alexander the Great.
Individuals in Macedonia are advised to monitor the situation, avoid all demonstrations as a precaution, and avoid discussing sensitive political topics in public.
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