Meet a new country: “Northern Macedonia”

Alexander solved knotty problems faster

ALEXANDER THE GREAT conquered the ancient world in far less time than it took the two countries that claim his mantle to agree on a name for one of them. But better late than never. On June 12th Greece and its northern neighbour announced a breakthrough. After nearly 30 years of tussling, they decided that the Republic of Macedonia should henceforth style itself “North Macedonia”, a formula implying that neither state has a monopoly on the historical legacy of the region. As a sign of goodwill, Macedonia had already removed a statue that looked rather like Alexander from its airport.

Ever since communist Yugoslavia broke up in 1991, Greece had lobbied to stop the new country from using a name to which it claims cultural title (it has a province called Macedonia, for instance). America praised Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev, prime ministers of Greece and Macedonia, for showing “vision, courage and persistence” in their efforts….

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