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Thousands Protest In Skopje Against Macedonia Name Change

Protesters Rally In The Rain Against Macedonia Name Change
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SKOPJE -- A few thousand people rallied in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, to protest against a landmark agreement with neighboring Greece over the country’s name.

The participants gathered in front of the parliament building on November 18, calling for snap general elections.

On October 19, lawmakers voted 80-39 voted to launch the constitutional-amendment process needed for the name change.

The government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev received cross-party support for the amendment to rename the country as North Macedonia despite fierce objection from opposition nationalists.

Amendments are now being drafted to incorporate the new name into Macedonia's constitution, after which another parliamentary vote will be required to enshrine the changes -- most likely in January.

The name change would end a long dispute with neighboring Greece, which in return would stop blocking Macedonia from joining NATO and the European Union.