Episode
October 4, 2018

Change of heart: Why is Macedonia trying to rebrand?

Macedonians at odds over name change, a move that could lead to EU membership.
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Macedonia’s future remains uncertain after a referendum to rename the country failed.

Voters overwhelmingly voted in favor of changing the name to North Macedonia. In fact, more than 90 percent of voters supported the change. But only 37 percent of the electorate voted, a number well below the 50 percent needed to make the outcome valid.

The issue now moves to parliament where the prime minister has vowed to push ahead. If the name change goes through, Greece has agreed to end its veto of Macedonia’s membership to the EU and NATO.

Following World War Two, Macedonia was one of six republics that made up the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. In 1991, Macedonia gained its independence. Since then, Greece’s position has been that Macedonia’s choice of name challenges Greece’s sovereignty over its northern territory of the same name.

On this episode of The Stream, we are joined by people on both sides of the debate and ask them, what’s in a name

On this episode of The Stream, we speak with:

Vera Lalchevska
Founder and Director, Joint Macedonian NGOs Representative Office to the UN

Panos Polyzoidis
Political Analyst and Journalist

Bojan Marichik
Special Adviser-Foreign Policy to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev


Read more: 

Macedonia 'yes' vote clouded by low turnout - Al Jazeera
'North Macedonia' future uncertain after failed referendum - Al Jazeera 
What next after the failed Macedonian referendum - Al Jazeera 

What do you think? Leave your thoughts in the comments below. 

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