Greek Government splits over Macedonia name change (Updated)

The junior partner in the Greek government has walked out of the coalition in protest at the proposal to recognise the change in the name of their northern neighbour to ‘The Republic of Northern Macedonia’.

The name change – which would solve one of the thorniest of European issues – has so far survived all of its hurdles. Even after the referendum in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia fell short of the required turnout threshold, the issue was revived thanks to a positive vote in the country’s parliament. Greek support will also allow Macedonia to apply for membership of the EU and NATO.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras has championed the move but will now face a massive challenge with the main opposition also rejecting the idea of supporting the name change.

UPDATE 17th January: PM Tsiparas won a vote of confidence on 16th January which, whilst not the formal vote supporting the name change of their neighbour to the north, at least paves the way for a positive resolution.