5-speed listening (Macedonia - Level 2)

Macedonia agrees to change its name






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The Republic of Macedonia will change its name. It agreed on the new name of the Republic of North Macedonia. The change is after a 27-year dispute with Greece. Macedonia became independent in 1991 after the former Yugoslavia broke up. It became a member of the United Nations in 1993. Its name caused an argument with Greece. Greece's largest region is also called Macedonia and said it owned the name "Macedonia". Greece blocked Macedonia from joining the EU because of the name "Macedonia". The Prime Minister said the change would, "open the doors to the future".

There was a decade of talks between Macedonia and Greece. Just over 67 per cent of Macedonia's 120-seat parliament voted for the change. Opposition politicians boycotted the vote. Several hundred people protested against the deal in front of Macedonia's parliament. An opposition leader was angry because of the talks to change the country's name. He said: "Look how publicly, how openly, this trade is going on with Macedonia's name and identity - just like at a market stall." The next step is for Greece to agree to the change.

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