Nationalist protesters forced their way into the Macedonian parliament. President Ivanov called for restraint, but critics say he is the one to blame.
Macedonia must resolve its decadeslong naming quarrel with Greece in order to facilitate EU accession talks. But a new proposal discussed by the countries' leaders still faces a host of hurdles.
The recommendation to open membership talks with the Balkan nations comes amid waning enthusiasm for the bloc. The countries will be required to carry out sweeping reforms to secure their entry.
President Gjorge Ivanov said making Albanian the second official language would threaten Macedonia's "unity." The Social Democrats and ethnic Albanian parties had agreed to pass the law in their 2017 coalition agreement.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is visiting six western Balkans states hoping to join the EU. He has told DW that the key to accession progress is focusing on substance over speed.
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