Workers in North Macedonia replace signs to reflect new name

Evarado Alatorre
Febrero 13, 2019

A series of practical adjustments - ranging from new road signs to updated passports and currency - will be made gradually, and started with the government website late Tuesday.

People are at work to change boards at the border between Macedonia and Greece near Gevgelija on February 13, 2019.

Speaking to reporters Wednesday at a meeting of NATO defense ministers, Sekerinska said North Macedonia has "shown that change is possible if you have the right amount of political leadership".

Greece found the use of the country's former name, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, controversial due to it being a similar name for a region in Greece's north. "We can't change our past, but we can and we will shape our future of friendship, partnership and cooperation".

Greece only allowed Skopje to join the United Nations in 1995 as the "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia", a reference to the country's former membership of Yugoslavia.

FILE - Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev gesture before the signing of an accord to settle a long dispute over the former Yugoslav republic's name in the village of Psarades, in Prespes, Greece, June 17, 2018.

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Despite opposition on either side of the border, the deal was ratified by both parliaments.

Authorities are also preparing to replace signs at the country's border with Greece. The central bank in Skopje will start issuing new banknotes by the beginning of 2020.

Dimitrov on February 6 signed a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation accession agreement, a key step toward Skopje's becoming the military alliance's 30th member.

While North Macedonia is not yet officially a NATO member - officials signed an accession agreement last week in order to pave the way towards membership - it is still permitted to sit at the NATO table as a guest.

All of NATO's 29 current members must ratify the accession agreement.

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