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Macedonia adopts motion to start procedure on changing name
Last Updated: 2018-10-11 08:17 | Xinhua
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The Macedonian government adopted a motion on starting the changes on the country's constitution, Macedonian government spokesperson Mile Bosnjakovski told a press conference on Monday.

According to Bosnjakovski, the Macedonian government held an extraordinary session during which the motion was proposed to the parliament four substantial changes to the Macedonian Constitution.

The motion envisages, as the first change, the addition of the adjective "North" in the name Republic of Macedonia to align it with its name agreement with Greece.

Macedonia is formally called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) at the United Nations. Macedonia is also the name of a northern province in Greece. Athens is worried that the use of the same name by the neighboring state could lead to territorial claims.

Following UN-mediated negotiations for years, the governments of Greece and FYROM reached a deal in June to put an end to the name row which had started in 1991.

Under the agreement signed on June 17 by the two governments at Prespes Lake which is the natural border between the two states, FYROM's new name will be "Republic of North Macedonia".

The second change will include changes in the Constitution's section for statehood and legal traditions that will contain concrete documents, Bosnjakovski said.

The third change demands the country to enhance the "border guarantee" for the territorial integrity, political independence and sovereignty of its neighboring countries.

The last change, Bosnjakovski explained, involves the article 49 that determines the care of the country for its diaspora, which means that Macedonia will be obligated to take care of the rights of the Macedonian people who reside abroad.

After receiving the government motion, the Macedonian parliament is expected to schedule a plenary session and a session of its Committee on Constitutional Matters.

On Sept. 30, the turnout of Macedonia's referendum on the name agreement with Greece, based on the data on the website of the country's State Electoral Commission (SEC) after counting of all votes on Monday, was 36.91 percent -- below the 50 percent needed for the results to be considered valid in line with the constitution.

According to the SEC, of 666,743 people who voted in Sunday's referendum, 91.46 percent of votes were in favor of the deal, and 5.65 percent were against.

The referendum question they had to vote "for" or "against" read: "Are you in favor of EU and NATO membership by accepting the agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?"

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Macedonia adopts motion to start procedure on changing name
Source:Xinhua | 2018-10-11 08:17
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