FYROM lawmakers start debating name deal with Greece


Lawmakers in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on Monday started debating constitutional reviews outlined in the Balkan country's name deal with Greece, after which they will be voting on whether to ratify the agreement.

Prime Minister Zoran Zaev needs to secure a two-third majority to ratify the deal, named after northern Greece's Prespes lake district hwere it was signed in June, renaming the country “Republic of North Macedonia.”

The vote in Parliament is expected to be instrumental for Zaev, who faces significant opposition, including from the country's president. He needs 80 votes in the 120-seat House, but his two-party coalition only has the backing of 72 MPs.

The debate has gone to lawmakers after a referendum failed to secure a turnout of 50 percent or more.

Just one-third of the country's electorate voted in the September 30 plebiscite, though 90 percent of them backed the agreement.