To many observers it just seemed bizarre: why couldn’t Macedonians be called what they wanted?
Even choosing the terms to discuss a conflict about a name was confusing. This was never exactly a dispute between Macedonians and Greeks. It is about different kinds of Macedonians who disagree about what to call each other. The agreement spells this out.
There are at least two meanings of Macedonia, depending on which side of the border you come from. For the first time in international law, it is not the borders of a territory but its cultural meaning that is determined. The outcome was laissez fare, to each his own. “Macedonia” and “Macedonian” will mean something different to people north and south of this border.
How did this dual reality come to be?