N Macedonia minister who stood by nation's old name removed

North Macedonia’s parliament has voted to dismiss a government minister who appeared at news conferences in front of a backdrop bearing the country’s old name and refused to change it

SKOPJE, North Macedonia -- North Macedonia’s parliament voted to dismiss a government minister Saturday after she appeared at two news conferences in front of a large wall sign bearing the country’s old name, Republic of Macedonia, and refused to change it.

Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski, who is leading a caretaker government appointed last month, said he recommended the removal of Labor and Social Policy Minister Rasela Mizrahi’s because she “deliberately and consciously breached the laws and constitution” and “endangered” North Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic future.

Mizrahi denied doing anything wrong, telling lawmakers Saturday that her predecessor at the Labor Ministry never removed the sign after the country's new name of North Macedonia became official in February 2019.

She also reported getting many “anti-Semitic” reactions to her actions over the sign. Mizrahi is North Macedonia's first government minister of Jewish descent.

The previous labor minister covered over the country's name on the wall sign with a patch that had the new constitutional name, Republic of North Macedonia. Mizrahi had the fix removed.

The Greek Embassy in Skopje protested and North Macedonia's foreign minister accused Mizrahi of disrespecting their country's constitution when she first stood in front of the original unedited sign a week ago. She did it again Tuesday.

The conservative opposition VMRO-DPMNE party recommended Mizrahi for the ministry post.