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SKOPJE – The parliament of Macedonia approved an amendment to the constitution on Friday to rename the Republic of North Macedonia, as agreed with Greece to end to a 27-year-old dispute.
Eighty-one deputies in the 120-seat parliament voted in favor. The representatives of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, who opposed the agreement with Greece, boycotted the vote.
The countries have reached agreement on the new name in June, but Macedonia will start using it only after the Athens parliament has ratified the agreement.
Greece blocked the aspirations of its neighbors to join the EU and to NATO for the use of "Macedonia", which said implicit territorial claims to a Greek province of the same name .
At the beginning of the parliamentary session, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told MPs that the name change would "open the door to the future, the European future of Macedonia", and the accession of the Alliance of the North Atlantic.
Several hundred people have protested against the parliament before the last three days.