The political establishment in Athens and Skopje is awaited word of whether there will be a final agreement between Alexis Tsipras and FYROM PM Zoran Zaev, in a telephone call expected this afternoon

Technical committees from both sides have been working feverishly over the last days, but few details have been officially released.

However, sources say that at least six basic elements that will form the framework of an agreement have been decided.

  1. The name Republic of Northern Macedonia has been decided on, and it remains to be seen if it will be used with the Slavic rendition – Severna Makedonija, or not.
  2. It was decided that the country’s language will be called Macedonian, but there will be references in the agreement to the fact that the language is not related to the ancient Macedonian dialect, and that it is of Slavic origin.
  3. The nationality will be Macedonian, and citizens will be described as citizens of the Republic of Northern Macedonia, but there will be reference to the fact that they are not related to the ancient Macedonians.
  4. There will be strict references to changes required in the country’s constitution, in order to include the new name and remove irredentist elements. There will be no reference to the protection of Macedonian minorities outside the country’s borders
  5. There will be timetables for changes in trade marks. It is unclear if the abbreviation of Macedonia will be MK or SMK (Severna Macedonia).
  6. There will be a strict stipulation that the new name will be used erga omnes – including domestically. ID cards, passports, and other official documents will bear the country’s new name.

Vasilis Kanellis