Europe May Have a New Country (Sort Of)
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.
The country we used to know as Macedonia — or, officially, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia — is changing. Its boundaries will remain the same, but it may now change its name to Northern Macedonia.
In 1991, the country then known as Macedonia gained independence from Yugoslavia. Greece immediately expressed its distaste for the name, saying that suggested “territorial pretensions” to the northern Greek province of the same name. It even tried to block United Nations membership for the new nation if it would not change its name, which in 1993 it did, when it joined the UN as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,” often shortened with the unwieldy acronym of FYROM. In its constitution, however, the nation called itself Republic of Macedonia, and has been recognized as such by most other nations of the world, including the US. So Greece continued to block Macedonia’s bid to join the European Union and NATO — but a solution has come this week, with a negotiated name change.
The two countries have finally agreed to a long-term solution, settling on a renaming to Northern Macedonia. The name adjustment hasn’t been fully implemented yet, so you may still see “Republic of Macedonia” or the FYROM acronym floating around. In fact, the agreement reached by Greek prime minister Alexis Tsipras and Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev must be approved by both parliaments before the name change is official. The Macedonian president has said he wants to veto it, and in both countries, there is opposition to the name change.
(Northern) Macedonia is actually a beautiful travel destination, although not widely known by Americans. Its terrain encompasses everything from hike-able mountains to canyons surrounded by lush landscape. Plus, the country has beautiful historical architecture worth visiting. And while it is landlocked, it has beautiful lakes. Getting into one of its two commercial airports, Skopje (SKP) or Ohrid (OHD), requires one connection from the US. You can fly into the capital Skopje through major European cities including Vienna, Zurich and Milan.
This story has been amended to show that the agreement to rename the country has not become official yet.
Featured image of the Matka Canyon by Pierre Crom/Getty Images.
Welcome to The Points Guy!
Earn 90,000 bonus miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new card in the first three months of card membership. Offer ends 11/10/2021.
With Status Boost™, earn 10,000 Medallion Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, up to two times per year getting you closer to Medallion Status. Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels, 2X Miles at restaurants and at U.S. supermarkets and earn 1X Mile on all other eligible purchases. Terms Apply.
- Limited Time Offer: Earn 90,000 Bonus Miles and 10,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) after you spend $3,000 in purchases on your new Card in your first 3 months. Offer expires 11/10/2021.
- Earn up to 20,000 Medallion® Qualification Miles (MQMs) with Status Boost® per year. After you spend $25,000 in purchases on your Card in a calendar year, you can earn 10,000 MQMs two times per year, getting you closer to Medallion® Status. MQMs are used to determine Medallion® Status and are different than miles you earn toward flights.
- Earn 3X Miles on Delta purchases and purchases made directly with hotels.
- Earn 2X Miles at restaurants worldwide, including takeout and delivery and at U.S. supermarkets.
- Earn 1X Miles on all other eligible purchases.
- Receive a Domestic Main Cabin round-trip companion certificate each year upon renewal of your Card. *Payment of the government imposed taxes and fees of no more than $75 for roundtrip domestic flights (for itineraries with up to four flight segments) is required. Baggage charges and other restrictions apply. See terms and conditions for details.
- Enjoy your first checked bag free on Delta flights.
- Fee Credit for Global Entry or TSA Pre✓®.
- Enjoy an exclusive rate of $39 per person per visit to enter the Delta Sky Club® for you and up to two guests when traveling on a Delta flight.
- No Foreign Transaction Fees.
- $250 Annual Fee.
- Terms Apply.
- See Rates & Fees