North Macedonian president’s inauguration revives name dispute with Greece

President-elect of North Macedonia Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova attends her inauguration ceremony in Skopje, North Macedonia, May 12, 2024. Ognen Teofilovski/Reuters]

Greece threatened to hinder North Macedonia's bid to join the EU on Monday after newly elected president Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova called her country just "Macedonia" during a speech, reviving a long-running dispute over the name.

Siljanovska-Davkova - who got backing from a resurgent nationalist party in last week's vote - used the formerly widely used name during her inauguration on Sunday, violating a UN-brokered agreement between Athens and Skopje.

Greece has long said the use of the name by its neighbour implies territorial claims on a Greek province which is also called Macedonia.

"Any progress in our bilateral relations, as well as any step by Skopje towards Europe hinge on their honest respect of the agreement," Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Monday.

The president's use of the name was "unlawful and unacceptable", he added.

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