Passing the bill has been controversial and the Balkan country's president has yet to sign it into law as Macedonian nationalists strongly oppose it.

The parliamentary session to approve the use of Albanian as an official language led to conflict with opposition Macedonian nationalists. The bill was passed in January and then again on March 14, 2018.
The parliamentary session to approve the use of Albanian as an official language led to conflict with opposition Macedonian nationalists. The bill was passed in January and then again on March 14, 2018. (TRTWorld)

A recent law on language in Macedonia has worsened long-standing tensions between the Albanian minority and Macedonian nationalists, who oppose making Albanian another official national language across the country.

Prior to the law's original passage in January, official recognition was only given to Albanian in areas where more than 20 percent of the population was Albanian.

Lawmakers approved the bill a second time on March 14 after President Gjorge Ivanov refused to ratify it in January.

A close ally of the nationalist VMRO-DPMNE party, Ivanov has so far refused to sign the bill into law despite both votes.

If the bill does become law, Albanian will become an official language across the country, irrespective of the population make-up in any given area.

The most widely spoken language in Macedonia is Macedonian. Over 20 percent of the population speak a variety of other languages including Albanian, Romany and Turkish. 

Albanians are the largest ethnic minority, making up a quarter of the population.

TRT World's Nafisa Latic went to Skopje to investigate the issue.

Source: TRT World