Europe, Macedonia

What do Macedonians think about the name change?

Macedonian name change flag fortress
Today is an important day for the 2 million inhabitants of Macedonia. In a referendum, they can vote whether they want their country’s name to change or not. Because I’m in Skopje, I decided to ask locals what they think about the controversial Macedonian name change.

Early in the morning, there were already a few people lining up in front of the Cuzman Josifovski Piti school. They were nervous but also relieved that they got the chance to make their voices heard. I spoke with a few of them to hear their opinions on the referendum. Rosa Andronovka (74) voted in favour of the Macedonian name change because according to her, the EU is a beautiful organisation and denying citizens the right to enter would be a crime. That’s why she told me she expects the majority of people to vote in favour of the new name.

Not everything in the garden is rosy

Jakle Ristovski (45) has a different opinion on the referendum. ‘I voted against it all. If we change our name and join the EU, the economic situation here will only get worse. That’s because younger people will leave Macedonia to find better-paid jobs in the west. As of now, that’s not possible but if we’re going to be part of the EU, this will cause many many problems.’

What about young adults?

The majority of young adults vote in favour of the name change. Matej Kochev (19) told me he did so too. ‘This country needs to change and this is the start. If we don’t do something now, it will never get better.’ Young adults do think that the outcome will be against the new name. ‘Elderly people are too proud to give up Macedonia’, said Matej.

Although many predictions on the outcome have been made, today is an exciting day. Macedonians have until 19:00 to vote. Oh, and do you want to know more about the city of Skopje? Check out this article!

Cheers, Thorsten.

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