Opposition MPs defy party leadership to vote in favour of constitutional changes on name deal with Greece that will unblock Macedonia’s EU and Nato accession.
As Macedonian MPs prepare to vote on the deal that resolved a decades-long conflict with Athens, ministers clashed within Greece's ruling coalition which is divided over the agreement.
Vote to determine whether Macedonia goes ahead with name change that will pave the way for EU and Nato accession — or faces early elections this autumn.
Optimistic move by PM Zoran Zaev who is still struggling to secure the two-thirds support needed to get the deal through parliament. If he fails, Macedonia will face a snap election.
If the region gets the impression the EU is "not serious" about enlargement, it could again experience "what we had in the Balkans during the 1990s," European Commission president warns.
Verdict comes at a delicate time for Macedonia, as the ruling Social Democrats need to persuade members of opposition VMRO-DPMNE, the party formerly headed by Gruevski, to back the name deal with Greece.
World Bank charts faster growth rate but warns surge in untargeted social spending and public wages heightens fiscal vulnerability in the longer-term.
After the mass boycott of Macedonia’s referendum on its critical deal with Greece, Moscow may seize the chance to hinder enlargement of the EU and Nato in the Western Balkans.
Mass boycott of referendum that puts Macedonia's EU future in doubt should be seen as a "final warning" that the EU needs a more serious approach to enlargement, says Milo Djukanovic.
The failure to meet the psychologically important threshold of 50%+ one voter means it will be more difficult for PM Zoran Zaev to muster the two-thirds majority in parliament he needs for the changes to be passed.
Ruling party seeks to galvanise voters while president tells them to stay at home, as Macedonia prepares for vote that will determine whether its future lies inside the EU and Nato.