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Why Macedonia will soon vanish from the map

Macedonia is set to vanish from the map after its parliament approved a change of the country’s name.

The new country will be called the Republic of North Macedonia in a bid to appease Greece, which has blocked its path to NATO and EU membership for 27 years.

The name Macedonia already belongs to an ancient northern region of Greece.

When the Socialist Republic of Macedonia broke away from Yugoslavia in 1991 and adopted the name Macedonia, it prompted fury from Greece.

They feared that the new nation would attempt to expand its territory into Greek Macedonia, which borders the Republic.

Macedonia’s parliament has voted to amend the constitution to allow the Balkan nation to change its name.

Parliament voted 80-39 in favor of the proposal, which is key to accepting a deal with Greece that strives to unravel the 27-year dispute between the two countries.

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras agreed if Macedonia was renamed North Macedonia, Greece would stop blocking Macedonia’s bid to join the European Union and NATO.

The decision comes after a week-long debate in Skopje. The amendment process will formally start within the next two weeks.

“Today is a historic day for the country,” Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said.

“Macedonia will be part of the European family our dreams and visions for better life in a better country will be fulfilled.”

Amendments to the constitution incorporating the name change will be drafted, but another vote will be required to ensure the changes.

Tsipras also celebrated the result of the historic vote.

“Today is a historic and symbolic day … it is a day of joy which proves the dynamic role Greece plays (as) a factor in the stabilization of the Balkans and southeastern Europe,” he said.

He also congratulated Zaev on Twitter.

Zaev struggled to win over conservative opposition members, while conservative voters boycotted the referendum last month, which only saw a 40 percent turnout.

Earlier in the year, 100,000 people gathered in Athens chanting “Macedonia belongs to Greece!” while protests even erupted in Australia.