Macedonia has just changed its name.
Its new name will be the Republic of Northern Macedonia, which will be used both domestically and internationally.
The short explanation is that it has something to do with ending a bitter 27-year dispute with Greece.
Basically, way back in 1991 the two countries fell out when Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia. Macedonia decided to call itself Macedonia, which pissed Greece off because it had some land in the north called Macedonia.
Greece’s Macedonia is a northern region that includes the country’s second city, Thessaloniki, whereas Macedonia’s Macedonia is, well, a country.
Just to make things confusing, when it became a member of the United Nations in 1993, it had to be given an alternative provisional name of the ‘Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia’, which was purely because of the ongoing dispute with Greece.
In a nutshell, Greek people felt like the name belonged to them because it ties in with the country’s heritage and the Macedon Kingdom – the king of which was Alexander the Great, who you’ll have heard of.
But Macedonia clearly liked the name, too, meaning that there’s been a massive stand-off for almost 30 years, which has seen many protests and conflict.
Thankfully, it sounds like Greece and Macedonia have finally reached a resolve, thanks to the new name of the Republic of North Macedonia – or ‘Severna Makedonija’ in Macedonian.
According to the BBC, its language will still be known as Macedonian, and its people will also be known as Macedonians – but citizens of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The prime minsters of Greece and Macedonia – Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev – had a phone call with each other on Tuesday, and shortly after announced the name change, with Macedonia set to amend its constitution as part of the pact.