The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will hold a referendum on a deal with Greece to rename the country. Lawmakers approved a September 30 date for the vote.

More than half (68) deputies in the 120-member parliament voted on July 30 in favour of holding a referendum on the question: “Are you in favour of NATO and EU membership, and accepting the name agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece?”

Ahead of the vote, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told reporters the agreement will “define the future of the Republic of Macedonia”.

As reported by Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty (RFE/RL) online, Protests have taken place both in Greece and FYROM since their foreign ministers signed a deal on June 17 to rename the country the Republic of North Macedonia (North Macedonia for short).

However, the main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party disputes the announced referendum question, saying the deal with Athens should not be linked with the country’s EU and NATO membership bids.

“The question must be understandable, simple…it should state, ‘Do you support or oppose the agreement with Greece which envisages a name change,’” VMRO-DPMNE deputy head Aleksandar Nikolovski told RFE/RL before the vote.