Macedonia PM says any new country name to be put to referendum this year

Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said Wednesday that any new name for his country that is agreed with neighboring Greece will be put to a referendum to be held later this year. Speaking at a news conference marking one year since he took office, Zaev said that Skopje and Athens have never been closer to reaching an agreement over Macedonia’s name, which has been the subject of a decades-long dispute, AP reports. Macedonia’s government has committed to modifying the republic’s name to address Greek concerns that the current one implies territorial claims on the northern Greek province of the same name. In return, Athens has promised to lift its objections to Macedonia’s NATO and EU membership. A referendum on whatever solution is found will be held in September or October, according to Zaev.