Parliament of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia ratifies name deal


The Parliament of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has ratified a deal with neighboring Greece signed last weekend to end a decades-long dispute over the Balkan country's name. 

Lawmakers on Wednesday approved the bill that renames the country North Macedonia, with 69 votes in favor in the 120-member parliament. The main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party boycotted the session. 

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told lawmakers that Skopje and Athens have reached a "dignified and acceptable" agreement for both countries. 

The dispute dates from shortly after the Balkan state declared independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Greece argued the name "Macedonia" implied territorial aspirations on its own northern province of the same name, birthplace of the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great, and on ancient Greek heritage.