It took the Macedo-Slavs of Skopje almost seventy years to drop, as fake propagandist myths and absurd indoctrination, any connection of their newly established country to Ancient Macedonia. This had been a long ethnogenetic campaign orchestrated and implemented by the post-WWII “Macedonianists” and especially by the presently fugitive from justice, ultra-nationalist former Prime Minister N. Gruefski and his ultra-rightist party (VMRO-DPMNE), during his prime ministership (2006-2016).

Following the Prespes Agreement (13 July, 2018), their government needed to draft and enforce acts of Parliament and a Referendum to accept and apply in toto several key constitutional amendments by the end of 2018, adopting a new name for their country (North Macedonia) erga omnes.

Following the endorsement and approval of the clauses of the Agreement by the members of the two Parliaments, the two countries have to comply with the content of the Agreement, starting from 25 January, 2019. The Government of Skopje decided and incorporated into its new Constitution the following parts of the Agreement:

(a)  change the name of their newly-born country to Severna Makedonija (North Macedonia) [Article 1 (3)];

(b)  accept that the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” will have a different meaning from now on [Article 1 (3)];

(c)   accept that for Greece the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonians” denote not only the area and people of the northern region of Greece, but also their attributes, as well as the Hellenic civilization, history, culture and heritage of that region from antiquity to the present day [Article 7 (2)];

(d)  accept that for Skopje, the terms “Macedonia” and “Macedonians” denote its territory, [Slavonic] language, people and their attributes, with their own history, culture and heritage, distinctly different from those referring to the Macedonians of Greece [Article 7 (3)];

(e)  accept that their official language, the “Macedonian” language, is within the group of South Slavic languages …and is not related to the ancient Hellenic civilization, history, culture and heritage of Greek Macedonia [Article 7 (4)];

(f)    accept that there is no claim to any area that is not included in its existing international borders [Article 4 (1)]

(g)  undertake not to make or to authorize any irredentist statements, and shall not endorse any such statements by those who purport to act on behalf of, or in the interest of the Party [Article 4 (2)];

(h) declare that nothing in its Constitution as it is in force or will be amended in the future should be interpreted as constituting or will ever constitute the basis for interference with the internal affairs of the other Party in any form and for any reason [Article 4 (3)];

(i)    take effective measures to discourage and prevent any acts by private entities likely to incite violence, hatred and hostility against the other Party [Article 6(2)];

(j)    Prevent and discourage acts, including acts of propaganda, by private entities likely to incite chauvinism, hostility, irredentism and revisionism against the other Party [Article 6 (3)];

(k)  within six months following the enforcement of this Agreement, to review the status of monuments, public buildings and infrastructures on its territory, and insofar as they refer in any way to ancient Hellenic history and civilization constituting an integral component of the historical or cultural patrimony of Greece, shall take appropriate corrective action ensuring respect for their Greek patrimony  [Article 8 (2)];

(l)    accept that “North Macedonia” shall not use again in any way and in all its forms the symbols formerly displayed on its former national flag [the Star of Macedonian Kings]. Within six months of the entry into force of this Agreement, they shall proceed to the removal of this symbol…from all public sites and public usages on its territory [Article 8 (3)]; and

(m)  accept that each Party shall abide by the recommendations of the United Nations Conference on the Standardization of Geographical Names in relation to the use of the official geographical names and toponyms in the territory of the other Party, thus giving priority to the use of endonyms over exonyms [Article 8 (4)] .[1] In May 2018, N. Gruefski was sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges. In November 2018, he was ordered to serve his prison sentence but failed to check in with authorities, and instead fled to Hungary where he sought and was granted political asylum.

Professor Anastasios Tamis is the President of the Australian Institute of Macedonian Studies