AP NEWS

Austria’s Kurz urges Macedonians to back deal with Greece

September 7, 2018

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Austria’s chancellor is urging Macedonians to vote, in a forthcoming referendum, for a deal with neighboring Greece to change their country’s name to “North Macedonia.”

Sebastian Kurz says the European Union will only be complete after western Balkan nations, including Macedonia, join it. He also urged Macedonians to participate in the Sept. 30 referendum.

The agreement would end a decades-old dispute with Athens, which says Macedonia’s name implies claims on the Greek province of Macedonia and on ancient Greek heritage. It would also facilitate Macedonia’s EU and NATO accession.

Polls indicate that most Macedonians back the deal, but it is unclear whether turnout will meet the required 50 percent threshold.

Kurz spoke after talks in Skopje Friday with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev. Austria holds the EU’s rotating presidency

AP RADIO
Update hourly