Goodbye, Alexander: Macedonia highway gets new name signs

Workers install a new road sign on the highway linking the capital Skopje with northern Greece, on Friday, March 2, 2018. Macedonian authorities have begun installing new road signs on the country's main highway named by the previous government after the ancient warrior king Alexander the Great, in a goodwill gesture toward neighboring Greece. (AP Photo)

SKOPJE, Macedonia - Macedonian authorities have begun replacing road signs after officially changing the name of the country's main highway from "Alexander the Great" as a goodwill gesture to Greece.

Gajur Kadriu, head of Macedonia's road maintenance company, said two signs with the highway's new name — "Prijatelstvo," which is Macedonian for friendship — were put up Friday.

Another 23 signs, with translations in English and Albanian, will be put up next week.

Macedonia's previous conservative government erected Alexander statues and named the highway and airport after him.

The moves infuriated Greece, which saw them as historical appropriation. The two countries disagree over the name Macedonia, which Athens says implies claims on its own adjoining province of the same name, but are intensifying negotiations to resolve the issue.


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