Good luck to all my friends in Macedonia for the referendum tomorrow. I really hope that voters vote positively for the Republic of North Macedonia and defeat the extreme nationalists on both sides who want to keep hostility between people alive. This vote is a fantastic opportunity for a country that I love to put people who want neighbours to work together first, for the benefit of all the people of the countries in the region.
Britain has longstanding historical links with Macedonia, mostly forgotten. Here is the first British consulate in Bitola, and site of the one closed a few years ago. Now the town is renowned for its cafe culture. That historic southern city was also on the frontline in World War I (the ‘Salonica front’) of British, French, Serbs and allies against the Austro-Hungarians.