SKOPJE – A poll taken ahead of 30 September referendum in Macedonia shows that majority of citizens are planning to vote “yes”, EURACTIV repors.
The question, reading “Are you in favour of NATO and EU membership, and accepting the name agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and Greece?” is referring to the agreement that would change the former country’s name to the Republic of North Macedonia.
According to the poll, 41.5% intend to vote for the acceptance of the agreement, while 35.1% will vote against. Almost 20% of polled citizens plan to boycott the referendum, while 66.4% are going to cast their vote.
However, differences between the two biggest ethnic groups in the country are stark: 88% of Albanians support the agreement, while only 27% of ethnic Macedonians do, with 45% being against.
Foreign Minister of Macedonia Nikola Dimitrov stated that citizens have a duty to seize this opportunity, META reports.
“You can not be for EU and NATO membership, and at the same time be against the exact agreement that removes the obstacle, unlocks the door, and tears the chains that have dragged us down for decades. You have to offer another way. A path that will be credible”, he said.
The Foreign Minister says that running away from responsibility for (no) actions of the past and the future of the homeland, and escaping from the will of the people, that is, the referendum, can not be patriotism.
Meanwhile, VMRO-DPMNE, the biggest opposition party, has strongly criticized the agreement.