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Signs referring to the government of Macedonia came down Monday in Skopje as the country transitions to its new name: North Macedonia.

Skopje, North Macedonia. Photo: Robert Atanasovski/AFP/Getty Images

Driving the news: Following bruising political battles on both sides of the border, the Greek parliament upheld its end of the bargain on Friday by backing North Macedonia’s NATO accession. As the Greek parliament was debating, Bujar Osmani, North Macedonia’s deputy prime minister in charge of European integration, was in Washington at the German Marshall Fund.

“I think that we got the last train,” Osmani told reporters, referring to the deal. “The region and the world geopolitically is becoming very dynamic. And I think it was the last momentum for us to define the geopolitics in the region — that the region belongs to NATO, belongs to the Euro-Atlantic family of values.”

Background: Macedonia is also a province in Greece, and a proud piece of the country's history. Osmani said the dispute hardened over Macedonia’s 27-year history, but negotiators came to realize a deal was possible because the Greeks were more concerned with the name of the country, while Macedonians were more worried about the Macedonian language and identity.

  • Osmani said North Macedonia's NATO accession should be expedited given the long delay (Greece had previously vetoed Macedonia’s membership) and the fact that “every single day … gives a day more for those adversaries who’d like to compromise the process” — namely Russia.

What’s next: North Macedonia also hopes to join the EU. It could face opposition on that front from a future Greek government, or leaders across Europe who reject the idea of further EU expansion. Osmani, meanwhile, said the lesson here should be that “the European idea is still alive. It is powerful. It can transform regions and societies.”

Go deeper

Justice Department drops insider trading inquiry against Sen. Richard Burr

Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) walking through the Senate Subway in the U.S. Capitol in December 2020. Photo: Stefani Reynolds/Getty Images

The Department of Justice told Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) on Tuesday that it will not move forward with insider trading charges against him.

Why it matters: The decision, first reported by the New York Times, effectively ends the DOJ's investigation into the senator's stock sell-off that occurred after multiple lawmakers were briefed about the coronavirus' potential economic toll. Burr subsequently stepped down as chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Netflix tops 200 million global subscribers

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

Netflix said that it added another 8.5 million global subscribers last quarter, bringing its total number of paid subscribers globally to more than 200 million.

The big picture: Positive fourth-quarter results show Netflix's resiliency, despite increased competition and pandemic-related production headwinds.

Janet Yellen plays down debt, tax hike concerns in confirmation hearing

Treasury Secretary nominee Janet Yellen at an event in December. Photo: Alex Wong via Getty Images

Janet Yellen, Biden's pick to lead the Treasury Department, pushed back against two key concerns from Republican senators at her confirmation hearing on Tuesday: the country's debt and the incoming administration's plans to eventually raise taxes.

Driving the news: Yellen — who's expected to win confirmation — said spending big now will prevent the U.S. from having to dig out of a deeper hole later. She also said the Biden administration's priority right now is coronavirus relief, not raising taxes.