A parliamentary majority (67 to 53) in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) approved for a second reading of four amendments to the country’s constitution – needed to vote for the country’s name change to “North Macedonia”.
To be finalised they need to back the constitutional amendments by a two-thirds majority by the end of January.
As reported by the Agence France-Presse (AFP), if the change is finalised in parliament, Greece has promised to lift its veto on FYROM’s attempts to join Nato and the European Union.
Greece has blocked the road for years because it insists the name Macedonia should apply solely to its own northern province.
Critics of the deal argue that Macedonia is being bullied by Greece.
Several thousand protesters from FYROM’s right-wing opposition marched through the capital Skopje last week to protest Prime Minister Zoran Zaev bid to change the country’s name.
They were led by the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party that lost power in 2017 and has seen its ranks weakened further in recent months.
The party has so far failed to thwart a deal that Zaev, a pro-EU Social Democrat, struck with Greece this year.