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!
WELCOME OFFER: 80,000 Points
TPG'S BONUS VALUATION*: $1,650
CARD HIGHLIGHTS: 2X points on all travel and dining, points transferrable to over a dozen travel partners
*Bonus value is an estimated value calculated by TPG and not the card issuer. View our latest valuations here.
- Earn 80,000 bonus points after you spend $4,000 on purchases in the first 3 months from account opening. That's $1,000 when you redeem through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. Plus earn up to $50 in statement credits towards grocery store purchases within your first year of account opening.
- Earn 2X points on dining including eligible delivery services, takeout and dining out and travel. Plus, earn 1 point per dollar spent on all other purchases.
- Get 25% more value when you redeem for airfare, hotels, car rentals and cruises through Chase Ultimate Rewards®. For example, 80,000 points are worth $1,000 toward travel.
- With Pay Yourself Back℠, your points are worth 25% more during the current offer when you redeem them for statement credits against existing purchases in select, rotating categories.
- Get unlimited deliveries with a $0 delivery fee and reduced service fees on eligible orders over $12 for a minimum of one year with DashPass, DoorDash's subscription service. Activate by 12/31/21.
- Count on Trip Cancellation/Interruption Insurance, Auto Rental Collision Damage Waiver, Lost Luggage Insurance and more.
- Get up to $60 back on an eligible Peloton Digital or All-Access Membership through 12/31/2021, and get full access to their workout library through the Peloton app, including cardio, running, strength, yoga, and more. Take classes using a phone, tablet, or TV. No fitness equipment is required.