A big show of support for the agreement ending the dispute between Greece and the country now renamed North Macedonia
The historic agreement of 17 June signed between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (Fyrom) ends a dispute that had been festering for the last 25 years (Report, 19 June). It defines the political, historical and cultural boundaries between classical Greek Macedonia and – as of now – North Macedonia, by making it clear Macedonian identity can be shared between people who endow it with different meanings. It respects the dignity and the right to self-determination of the two peoples and confirms the desire of both countries for peaceful coexistence.
Each side has had to address the concerns of the other. For Greece, the geographical designation in the compound new name (North Macedonia), its application domestically and internationally, and the requirement that the constitution of Fyrom be amended accordingly. For North Macedonia, acceptance of the existence of a Macedonian language as part of the Slavic family of languages (a fact long recognised by the UN and Greece), the designation of the nationality as Macedonian/citizens of North Macedonia and, crucially, the promise of starting accession negotiations to Nato and the EU.