Zoran Zaev began promoting North Macedonia as the name of the country today. At a press conference, called to celebrate the ramming of the constitutional amendments through Parliament, Zaev shouted “long live North Macedonia”.

I said Republic of North Macedonia so the citizens could hear the name from the mouth of the Prime Minister first, and would understand the importance of the decision our Parliament adopted. The agreement enters into force after it has been ratified by the Greek Parliament. It enters into force for international use immediately. And domestically, the name will enter into use as the EU accession chapters are opened, in no more than five years. But, this is a definitive decision and it opens perspectives for our entire region, said Zaev.

Speaking about the future steps on the part of Greece, Zaev said that he hopes the Greek Parliament will ratify both the Prespa treaty and the Greek approval for Macedonia to join NATO – something that Greece has refused to do since 2008.

The mood in Solun (Thessaloniki) and in all other cities in Greece is the same as here. There is bitterness but also pride in the enormity of our decision. I would like to appeal to our friends in Greece – Our Parliament mustered strength and we made a decision with huge hopes for the future. I believe that the Greek Parliament will have the courage to do the same. We gained a new friend and Greece gains a new friend, Zaev said in his remarks.

Zaev promised the public that all the concessions Macedonia accepted will be worth it, and announced that a major new German investment will be declared by the end of the month. Before the vote in Parliament, Zaev said that “giant investors” are waiting to come to Macedonia as soon as the name of the country is changed.

We are talking with several factories. I believe we will be able to announce their investment here in January, February and March. I spoke with the Merkel adviser today and we are lobbying for an enormous investment which is looking for a location in Macedonia, Serbia or Bulgaria, and we hope we will be able to bring them here. Chancellor Merkel wants to help us economically, Zaev said, also promising that wages will rise after the name change.