The government of Zoran Zaev is feverishly preparing all the steps to complete FYROM’s obligations under the naming accord with Greece, within a strict timeframe.

Parliament is preparing for the second and last ratification vote, which requires a simple majority in parliament, after President Gjorge Ivanov vetoed the agreement the first time around. The president is constitutionally required to sign the agreement if a law he vetoes is passed for a second time.

Ivanov declared that the agreement makes his country “subjugated and dependent upon another country”. He said that those who sign the agreement face a possible five-year prison sentence.

The Zaev governments needs 61 votes in the 120 seat legislature to ratify the accord. He received 69 votes the first time.

At the same time, Zaev is preparing a referendum on the accord. The FYROM media have said 9 September or 16 September are most likely.

Today, however, Zaev said that that the referendum “most likely” will be held at the end of September or early October.

He said that the precise formulation of the question to be presented to the people has not yet been definitively decided.

Zaev said that it also remains to be decided whether the referendum will be binding or simply of a consultative nature, and that this will be discussed with political and state officials.

“We have not yet discussed this issue. We are expecting to conclude certain procedures by 11-12 July, when we are expecting an invitation to join Nato,” Zaev said. “Immediately thereafter, we shall determine the terms of the referendum and the question that will be posed.”