Public divided in North Macedonia over name deal, poll shows


Public opinion in North Macedonia is divided over the Prespes agreement with Greece, according to a recent survey in the neighboring country.

More specifically, the poll, conducted on behalf of the Sitel TV channel, showed that 44.6 percent said they felt positively about the accord against 45.6 percent who said they had negative feelings about it.

However, a significant 59.5 percent said they believe the deal will have a positive impact on relations between the two countries.

Moreover, 57.7 percent expressed belief that both countries will implement the deal.

Around half (50.5 percent) of those surveyed said they thought the government in Skopje did a good job during the negotiations with Greece against 40.7 percent who said it didn’t. Another 49.2 percent said they believe the name deal will make it easier to travel to Greece.

Meanwhile, opposition parties in Greece reacted angrily to a BBC report on Sunday that referred to a Macedonian minority in Greece that speaks the Macedonian language.

Diplomatic sources in Greece refuted the claim of a Macedonian minority and said the government will send a letter in protest to the BBC.

Concern was also raised in Greece by a letter sent by the North Macedonian Foreign Ministry to local journalists with instructions that the language of the country and the nationality of its citizens will both be called Macedonian – as is stipulated in the Prespes agreement.

There was also consternation in Greece after the publication of the note verbale that Skopje had sent to the United Nations two weeks ago with regard to the country’s acronyms MK and MKD.