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Greek leader beats no-confidence vote over Macedonia name deal


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Greek leader beats no-confidence vote over Macedonia name deal

Prime Minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras pulled through a vote of no confidence in the Greek parliament over a name deal with the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Reuters reported June 16.

The two countries recently ended a 27-year dispute with Macedonia agreeing to change its name to the Republic of North Macedonia, giving the Balkan country a chance to join NATO and the EU.

Greece's New Democracy party, the country's opposition party, brought the motion to parliament, where it failed by a vote of 153 opposed and 127 in favor, the news outlet reported.

Reuters said New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis labelled the deal an affront, and said Tsipras' government "should go before it does more damage, this time national damage."

Tsipras is being lambasted by the Greek opposition for going overboard at making concessions over the name deal with Macedonia, which is due to be signed June 17. Some parties in Macedonia have made the same claims about their government.

The Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers, Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov, respectively, are expected to sign the deal, the news agency said. It still must also be ratified by both countries' parliaments and be approved in a Macedonian referendum.

"This is a deal I believe that every Greek prime minister would want," Tsipras told the chamber earlier, according to Reuters.

Previously, Greece vetoed Macedonia's attempt to join NATO and the EU over concerns of potential territorial advances and claims on its northern region, which is also known as Macedonia.

The Greek nation has refused to accept Macedonia's name since its inception in 1991, following the collapse of Yugoslavia, saying that the Balkan country has coveted Greek territory and heritage.