The Macedonia name dispute was resolved in 2018 with the signing of the Prespa Agreement. Ambassador Nimetz – one of the key players in the solution efforts – queried recently “Why did it take us so long?”, echoing the confusion of foreign observers about what has routinely been seen as an incomprehensible spat. This article provides more context about the past intractability of the dispute by focusing on the role of Greek public opinion. Taking stock of the literature on the relationship between foreign policy-making and public opinion, our analysis identifies key parameters for investigating the influence of Greek public opinion on policy. We test these parameters against empirical data from a comprehensive poll on the name dispute that was conducted in 2016, only a few months before the start of the negotiations that led to the Prespa Agreement. Our analysis demonstrates the extent and depth of the Greek public’s opposition to any compromise, as well as the emotional involvement in the Macedonia name dispute. The findings have implications for our understanding of the process that led to the settlement of the dispute as well as the challenges of implementing the agreement.