Macedonian and Greece prime ministers reportedly discussed a new name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYRM) and that Ilinden Macedonia popped out as a possible solution, a TV reported on Friday.
Zoran Zajev of Macedonia and Alexis Tsipras of Greece have met in Sofia during the European Union-Western Balkans summit and talked about the issue that has been dragging on for years since Athens opposes the name Macedonia because Greece has a province of the same name.
The dispute has been blocking Macedonia from joining NATO and to open accession talks with the EU.
The Nova TV website reported that the new Skopje’s idea about Macedonian name would be acceptable to Athens.
Zaev said the two discussed the ideas and that one seemed acceptable to both sides but felt short of saying which one.
Ilinden, the statehood day in Macedonia and a religious holiday is celebrated on August 2, commemorating two important historical events for the country: the Ilinden Uprising in 1903, organised by the Macedonians against the Ottoman Empire that resulted in a short-lived republic, and an assembly in 1944, during the World War II, actually marking the foundation of modern Macedonian state.
Religious holiday has roots in the Christian St. Elijah and also in an earlier pagan tradition.
Previously, the latest name in the negotiations brokered by a UN Matthew Nimetz included geographical terms as Upper, Northern and Vardar Macedonia.