Macedonia Replaces Road Signs in Goodwill Gesture to Greece

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) -
Macedonia Greece
Workers prepare to remove an”Alexander of Macedonia” road sign on the highway linking Skopje, Macedonia, with northern Greece, on Wednesday. (AP Photo)

Macedonian authorities began replacing road signs Wednesday on the country’s main highway named after the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great by the previous government, in a goodwill gesture toward neighboring Greece.

Gajur Kadriu, head of Macedonia’s road maintenance company, said the sign removed Wednesday was the first of 25 road signs to be replaced.

The government decided recently to rename the country’s main airport, which also carried Alexander’s name, as Skopje International Airport. The main highway will be named Prijatelstvo, meaning friendship.

Macedonia and Greece have been at odds for a quarter-century over the name Macedonia, but are intensifying negotiations to resolve the issue. Greece argues the name implies territorial claims on its own province of Macedonia, and is angered by what it sees as the usurpation of ancient Greek history.

The two sides have restarted talks mediated by the United Nations envoy on the issue, and are hoping to resolve the issue by the summer.