Greek PM survives no-confidence vote, deal with Skopje to be ratified

Source: Tanjug / AP

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras survived the no-confidence vote triggered after a nationalist party left his coalition in a protest of Athens – Skopje name deal he reached with his Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev last June, winning the support of 151 out of 300 deputies late on Wednesday, the news agencies reported.

Tsipras’s survival would enable the parliament to ratify the agreement on Macedonia’s new name after Skopje parliament approved the deal and passed the constitutional changes to legalise the new name – North Macedonia.

The June agreement, dubbed historic, cleared the way to Euro-Atlantic integration of Macedonia, blocked by Greece for 27 years due to the name dispute. Greece neighbouring province is called Macedonia and Athens has for decades maintained Skopje has had territorial claims to that part.

Both Zaev and Tsipras, whose mandate expires in October, have faced bitter opposition to the agreement.

Nationalists in both countries staged street protests following the signing, and Macedonia President Djordjo Ivanov described the deal as treason.

However, the two leftist prime ministers managed to win enough support in the parliaments and end the isolation of the former Yugoslav republic.

The European Union said the agreement was the most significant political success in the Western Balkans in 2018.