04:20 GMT +318 November 2018
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    Protesters shout out slogans about boycott referendum on changing the country's name that would open the way for it to join NATO and the European Union in Skopje, Macedonia September 30, 2018

    Macedonian Parliament Passes Constitutional Amendments to Change Country's Name

    © REUTERS / Marko Djurica
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    Macedonian Parliament has passed the constitutional amendments to change the name of the country to facilitate accession to NATO and EU.

    The website of the Macedonian Parliament released an announcement that it had passed the constitutional amendments to change the country's name.

    A total of 80 lawmakers out of 120 voted in favor of the name change securing the majority required to pass the bill.

    In June, Athens and Skopje signed the agreement on changing Macedonia's name. The name dispute has been souring bilateral relations for years, with Athens opposing the use of "Macedonia," which is also the name of a region in Greece.

    READ MORE: Macedonian PM Urges Parliament to Back Renaming for Sake of NATO, EU Accession

    The new name will allow the Balkan state to join NATO and the European Union, the process that Greece has been blocking over fears that the former Yugoslav republic might try to claim its region under the same name.

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    Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Macedonia
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