We’re Macedonia … No, We’re Macedonia!

August 17, 2018

In May, King Mswati III of Swaziland decided that he was going to rename his country to eSwatini because he was tired of people confusing Swaziland with Switzerland. That’s as valid a reason as any when you’re the king, right? That’s not the case for Macedonia, a small European country that declared its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. You see, it wasn’t Macedonia’s independence that Greece had a problem with; it was the name. Greece felt that the name Macedonia implied that they wanted to lay claim to Greece’s territory, which was also called Macedonia. That was one of the major reasons why Greece blocked Macedonia from joining the European Union. Well, the disagreement over this name has caused more than twenty-six years of tension between the countries. Last month, however, the two countries came to an agreement: Macedonia would be renamed the Republic of North Macedonia. The agreement has been ratified (or made valid) by the Macedonian government, but it still has to be voted on by the people, and not everyone (including the president of Macedonia) supports the agreement. We’ll have to wait and see what the people think of the agreement come fall, but until then, the Prime Ministers of Greece and Macedonia both want this agreement to be a fresh start to a friendly relationship between the two countries.