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Name dispute: Macedonia will rename airport

Skopje / Athens - As part of extensive efforts to resolve the longstanding name dispute with Greece, Macedonia has now announced its intention to remove two further disruptive factors. Skopje Airport and the highway that connects the Macedonian capital with the Greek border, both of which bear the name of Alexander the Great, will be renamed.

This was announced by the Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev after a meeting with the Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the sidelines of the world economic summit in Davos, reported the Macedonian media.

"Provocation"

The use of the name of the Macedonian king Alexander the Great (356–323 BC), who had established a Hellenic empire from Greece to the Indus, has always been seen by Athens as a "provocation" and "appropriation of the Greek." History "has been designated by the predominantly Slavic-speaking Republic of Macedonia.

The name dispute between Athens and Skopje has been going on since 1991. Greece wants Macedonia to change its name. Reason: The northern part of Greece is also called Macedonia. Both areas form part of the ancient region of Macedonia, which also included today's south-west Bulgaria as well as smaller areas in Albania and Serbia.

Athens has therefore been blocking the start of EU accession talks since 2005, as has NATO membership. The UN special mediator Matthew Nimetz had proposed five solutions to the name dispute on the two pages last week. Next week he will visit Skopje and Athens to hear the views of the Macedonian and Greek authorities. (APA, January 25, 2018)