FYROM citizens split along ethnic lines on name issue

TAGS: Diplomacy

The citizens of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia are split along ethnic lines with regard to the change of the neighboring country’s constitutional name in order to reach an agreement with Greece and secure NATO membership, a local poll has shown, with 49 percent of people rejecting any name change.

While 35 percent of FYROM citizens are prepared to accept a change to the country’s name, fewer than one in six ethnic Slavs (15.6 percent) are ready to abandon the name “Republic of Macedonia,” while the vast majority of ethnic Albanians (81.4 percent) would be happy with that if it meant that Greece lifted its veto on NATO membership.

Likewise, over two thirds (67.1 percent) of ethnic Slavs, the country’s majority group, want no change to the name of the country, compared with just 7.2 percent of ethnic Albanians.

There is also a 10.3 percent share of the population who are against NATO membership, which accounts for one eighth (12.9 percent) of ethnic Slavs and just 1.5 percent of ethnic Albanians.

It is noted that the coalition government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev which took over this year relies on the support of ethnic Albanian parties.

The Brima Galup poll was made public by former FYROM foreign minister Antonio Miloshoski through his Twitter account. Miloshoski is a parliamentary deputy for opposition party VMRO-DMPNE.