The ʽMacedonianʼ language and national identity remain undisputed, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told an event ahead of the September 30 referendum on the country's name deal with Greece.
Speaking at a public gathering in the eastern town of Pehcevo on Monday night, Zaev expressed confidence in a positive result from the September 30 plebiscite on the name deal signed in June, saying that “a positive outcome from the referendum is a chance at a secure future.”
Zaev added that the name deal with Greece paves the way for FYROM's accession to the European Union and NATO, securing a “better future for our children.”
However, the moderate premier also sought to appease critics of the name deal, saying that the “ʽMacedonianʼ language will always be ʽMacedonianʼ and the ʽMacedonianʼ nation will always be ʽMacedonian.ʼ”
Under the deal, FYROM will be named “Republic of North Macedonia,” both domestically and internationally. The Greek government wants to distinguish between the concept of Macedonian citizenship for the people of Northern Macedonia and the ethnic undertones that the government in Skopje wants to highlight.