Parliamentary speaker says name deal to be voted on late next week

Parliamentary speaker says name deal to be voted on late next week

Parliamentary speaker Nikos Voutsis on Friday said that Greek lawmakers will be voting on ratifying the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia by the end of next week.

Coming out of a meeting of ruling SYRIZA's political secretariat, Voutsis indicated that the process for ratifying the so-called Prespes agreement would start over the next few days at the committee level, culminating with the debate in the plenary and the final vote by the end of next week.

“Everyone will have a say. Everyone will be given the time,” Voutsis told reporters after the first meeting of the leftist party's political secretariat since the departure from the coalition of junior partner Independent Greeks.

SYRIZA is said to be looking to pass the contentious agreement with FYROM singed last June and settling the decades-old dispute between the two neighbors, with an absolute majority of at least 151 MPs in the 300-seat House, but has just 145 seats after the small nationalist party quit the coalition in opposition at the deal.

Meanwhile, thousands of protesters are expected to descend on the Greek capital on Sunday for a rally decrying the accord, which renames the neighboring country “Republic of North Macedonia.”

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