Tsipras survives no-confidence vote over Greece-Macedonia deal

Greek PM survives no-confidence vote over Macedonia name

Greece, Macedonia to sign deal ending yearslong name dispute

Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on Sunday signed a controversial deal that could finally resolve a long-running dispute over the latter's name.

A total of 127 MPs voted in favor of the motion, while 153 deputies voted against, with 280 lawmakers participating in the roll call vote, Greek national news agency AMNA reported.

Under the deal, Greece will lift its objections to the renamed nation joining the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Greece argued the term "Macedonia" implied territorial claims on its province of the same name, which is the birthplace of the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great, and usurped its ancient Greek heritage and history.

The no-confidence motion was brought by the head of the conservative main opposition New Democracy party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who had said he had an "obligation before the Greek people to try to avert the mortgaging of our country's future".

According to the preliminary accord signed by the two countries' foreign ministers, they agreed to rename the Balkan nation the Republic of North Macedonia, despite strong protests over a deal from both sides.

The accord, signed on lake Prespa in northern Greece bordering Macedonia and Albania, hopes to settle almost three decades of talks between the two over the young Balkan state's names.

The deal was met with fury by critics in both countries, who accuse their respective prime ministers of conceding too much.

"This is the most forward-looking deal the country has ever had in its hands", said Interior Minister Panos Skourletis.

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The two premiers will attend on Sunday the signing of the deal by the two countries' foreign ministers, Nikos Kotzias and Nicola Dimitrov.

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said firmly he will not sign the deal after it is ratified in the parliament, which is expected soon with the aim of enabling Macedonia to carry out its obligations before the European Council meeting at the end of June, when the country expects to obtain a long-awaited date to launch EU accession talks.

Macedonia's Prime Minister Zaev said the deal put an end of the barren policies of the past that focused on isolation and self-isolation.

One member of parliament from the Neo Nazi Golden Dawn party was removed during deliberations when he called on Greece's military to intervene and hold Tsipras before a firing squad for treason.

The delegations will sign the agreement on the Greek side of the border before crossing over to the Macedonian side for lunch, Athens said.

"We do not trust this government", said Gennimata, who serves as the leader of the socialist Movement for Change.

In Macedonia, the agreement must clear the hurdles of parliamentary ratification, a referendum and a constitutional amendment.

The ratification process will take several months.

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