Macedonia airport name change

This item appears on page 4 of the June 2018 issue.

The airport in Skopje, Macedonia, in an act of goodwill toward Greece, removed the moniker “Alexander the Great” from its name on April 3 and is now simply Skopje International Airport. (Its IATA code remains SKP.)

Greece has been at odds with Macedonia over the name it took upon declaring its independence from Yugoslavia in 1991. Macedonia, the nation, and the historical region of Macedonia in Greece, where Alexander the Great’s empire began, are geographically distinct.

When Macedonia joined the UN in 1993, as a compromise with Greece it agreed to use the provisional name “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (or FYR Macedonia), with negotiations for a new name to be held later. So far, no attempt at a name change has been made, though the prime minister of Macedonia suggested in February 2018 that a geographical modifier (such as “North”) may be added to set it apart from Greek Macedonia. Macedonia has been a candidate to join the European Union since 2005.