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According to The Wall Street Journal, many Greek nationalists may still continue to fight the battle over Macedonia's name, and "reject any non-Hellenic claim to the name, even in a composite form".

The prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia have agreed on a new name for the latter country - the Republic of Northern Macedonia - ending a bitter 27-year dispute.

The row dates back to 1991 when Macedonia declared independence but Greece has long objected to its neighbour's constitutional name - the Republic of Macedonia - because it fears it could imply territorial ambitions.

"Macedonia will be called the Republic of Northern Macedonia [Severna Makedonija]", Zoran Zaev, the country's prime minister, announced Tuesday.

Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, whose right-wing Independent Greeks party is Tsipras' government partner, said Tuesday he would oppose an agreement in a parliamentary vote.

Speaking after a phone call with Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras, he said: "There is no way back".

On the timeline of the deal, Mr Tsipras said that it would be first signed by the two countries' foreign ministers and then ratified by Macedonia's parliament.

The tiny Balkan country has repeatedly tried to join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation, but its attempts have been blocked by neighbouring Greece.

"This historic agreement is testament to many years of patient diplomacy, and to the willingness of these two leaders to solve a dispute which has affected the region for too long", NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg said in a statement. And it will help to consolidate peace and stability across the wider Western Balkans, ' he added.

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The accord still requires ratification by the two national parliaments and a referendum in Macedonia, a tough test for the leaders in both countries.

After the final agreement has been reached, a joint statement for the Greek and Macedonian public is expected to be published.

The proposed name change has been resisted by sections of the Macedonian public.

Tsipras added that once Skopje ratifies the deal in Parliament and revises its constitution to rid it of anything that could be construed as irredentist, then Athens will lift its objections to FYROM's European Union accession and its induction to North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

European Council President Donald Tusk tweeted his support for the agreement: 'Thanks to you the impossible is becoming possible'. "We just saw a press conference where the defeat is shown as a fake victory", Hristijan Mickoski, president of opposition party VMRO-DPMNE said.

Ancient Macedonia was the cradle of Alexander the Great's empire, a point of pride to Greeks today.

It will use its official new name in all internal documents and events and in all worldwide forums.

The compromises to resolve the name issue have faced dissent in both countries, threatening to split Greece's governing coalition and provoke a rift between Macedonia's prime minister and president.


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