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Macedonia

Albania, Macedonia backed for EU membership talks

BRUSSELS: The EU has backed the opening of formal membership talks with Albania and Macedonia as the bloc looks to expand into the Balkans and grow for the first time in years. The announcement on Tuesday comes a month ahead of a summit in Sofia when the leaders of six Balkan nations will be given fresh hope of eventually joining the EU, amid rivalry between Brussels and Moscow over the region. Skopje and Tirana both welcomed the move and vowed to work hard to remove obstacles on the long way to full membership. EU…

Albania, Macedonia backed for EU membership talks

BRUSSELS: The EU on Tuesday backed the opening of formal membership talks with Albania and Macedonia as the bloc looks to expand into the Balkans and grow for the first time in years. The announcement comes a month ahead of a summit in Sofia when the leaders of six Balkan nations will be given fresh hope of eventually joining the EU, amid rivalry between Brussels and Moscow over the region. Skopje and Tirana both welcomed the move and vowed to work hard to remove obstacles on the long way to full membership. EU…

Tens of thousands join Greek protest over Macedonia name row

ATHENS: Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of northern Greece's biggest city Thessaloniki on Sunday, police said, in a long-running row between Athens and Skopje over the use of the name Macedonia. Athens argues that the name Macedonia suggests that Skopje has territorial claims to the northern Greek region of the same name, of which Thessaloniki is the capital. The region was the centre of Alexander the Great's ancient kingdom, a source of Greek pride. Police said more than 90,000 demonstrators had…

Macedonia parliament violence injures 100

SKOPJE, MACEDONIA: Scores of people were injured as violence erupted in Macedonia's parliament after nationalist protesters stormed the building in anger over a vote for a new speaker, the interior ministry said Friday. The chaos in Skopje broke out on Thursday evening, with dozens of demonstrators -- including a group of masked men -- breaking a police cordon and entering parliament waving Macedonian flags, shouting and singing the national anthem. Footage from the scene showed chairs being thrown as fistfights broke…