Macedonia’s bid to join EU, NATO in limbo after vote

2 October 2018 10:44 am - 0     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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REUTERS, 01st OCTOBER, 2018- Macedonia’s hopes of joining the European Union and NATO were in limbo on Monday, a day after voters backed a plan to change the country’s name by a large margin but failed to hit the 50 percent turnout required for the referendum result to be valid.


Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said he would press on regardless with a vote in parliament to endorse the change of name to the ‘Republic of North Macedonia’ but the defence minister said an early election might now prove necessary, potentially derailing the whole plan due to a tight timeframe.


Some 91 percent of voters backed the name change, demanded by neighboring Greece as a precondition for it lifting its veto on Macedonia joining the EU and NATO. But turnout was just 36.9 percent, final figures showed, far below the required threshold.

 

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