Macedonia has struggled for recognition of its name since its birth in 1991 when the landlocked country declared independence from Yugoslavia. Athens protested immediately, accusing Skopje of stealing the name of its own northern province also called Macedonia. The dispute stretches back nearly three decades, with both countries claiming links to Alexander the Great’s ancient empire of Macedon, which spanned the territories.
Besa Arifi, a law professor says: “This is the first time I am seeing Macedonians and Albanians campaigning together for common goals. This will give us more opportunities to unite all citizens around shared values.”