Macedonia vote rattles government in neighbor Greece

Macedonia vote rattles government in neighbor Greece
German Chancellor Angela Merkel waves as she stands by students during her visit in a German school in Athens, Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. Merkel is widely blamed in Greece for the austerity that the country has lived through for much of the past decade, which led to a sharp and prolonged recession and a consequent fall in living standards. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris)

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — Macedonia’s center-left government is holding emergency talks for a second day to try to secure the two-thirds majority in parliament needed to finalize constitutional changes for a landmark deal with neighbor Greece.

Talks between government and opposition lawmakers continued Friday following repeated delays in the vote.

The governments of Macedonia and Greece are both struggling to secure the political support required to ratify the agreement reached last June, under which the landlocked Balkan nation would change its name to North Macedonia and Greece would lift objections to its accession to NATO.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel, who is on a working visit to Athens, has expressed strong support for the agreement. But the issue has brought Greece’s coalition government to the brink of breakup.