Since the breakup of the former Federal Republic of Yugoslavia in 1991, Macedonia has had aspirations of joining the European Union.
However, a bitter naming dispute over the Slavic republic’s insistence on the use of the name Macedonia has continued with Greece for 24 years. Tensions became so high as to effectively close the border between Greece and Macedonia in the late nineties. The border only remained open for those travelling on non-Macedonian passports. Even today, Greece refuses to put Greek visas into Macedonian passports, choosing rather to put then an A4 piece of paper carried with the bearer’s passport. Macedonian born travellers using non-Macedonian passports can also be in for a tough time when trying to enter Greece.
Macedonia has been an ascension candidate for EU membership for sometime now but because of the unresolved naming dispute, Greece has utilised the power of veto to block Macedonian membership.
With Greece out of the Eurozone, which appears inevitable as they default on loan repayments to the IMF, this stumbling block will be removed as Greece as a non-member of the EU can no longer veto Macedonia’s EU membership aspirations.