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PM Tsipras determined to solve name dispute with FYROM, but partner Kammenos has reservations

As efforts intensify to resolve the decades-long name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Tsipras coalition partner and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, dampened expectations. He said that he would never back a solution including the word “Macedonia” thus revealing cracks in the coalition government.

The leader of right-wing Independent Greeks said that Greek party leaders had agreed in a 1992 meeting convened by then President Constantinos Karamanlis that the use of the word was a nonstarter for Greece. Deciding otherwise would require a fresh meeting under the current president, Kammenos stressed.

“My position and that of Independent Greeks is that the Council of Political Party Leaders must be convened,” he said, adding that if this were to take place, “our position will again be against the use of the term ‘Macedonia.”

Athens says the use of the name “Macedonia” by Skopje is a distortion of history  and could lead to future claims on the province of the same name in northern Greece.

Kammenos’s remarks, which came as both Athens and Skopje have expressed the will to resolve the dispute within what has been described as the window of opportunity in the first half of 2018, highlighted differences within the ruling coalition and the limitations of the leftist-led government if a deal on the name is put to a vote in Parliament.

Former New Democracy foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis accused the government of lacking a uniform stance on the issue, adding that for this reason it is “condemned to failure.”

New Democracy claims the government would collapse should there be not a common policy on such a crucial issue of national interest.

ANEL deputy leader Panagiotis Sgouridis proposed a referendum on the name, just as one proposed by Skopje.

The SYRIZA part of the coalition is confident that the two partners will agree on a common policy line solution. Government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said on Thursday “2018 will bring an opportunity to resolve the name dispute with FYROM, a problem the current government inherited from New Democracy governments.”

He added that the government will “seek a wider political consensus in the Parliament on the issue.”

Meanwhile, the deputy prime minister of FYROM proposed the names “North” or “Upper” or New Macedonia” as acceptable solution.

FYROMA Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is expected to visit Thessaloniki and participate in the New Year celebrations after an invitation by Thessaloniki Mayor Yannis Boutaris.

Government sources have dismissed speculation Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras will meet with Zaev while the latter will be in the city of Northern Greece.


Alexis Tsipras seems determined to finally solve the dispute with FYROM. At any cost?

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  1. Tsipras has no choice. The only solution possible is ‘Republik of Macedonia”, if you like it or not. The Greeks should put aside their hysteria and reasonably ask the question: what kind of State do they want to have as their neighbor? They should opt for stability and not for chaos and fragmentation . The name “Republik of Macedonia” is fundamental for the existence and very survival of FYROM. Or does Greece prefer to have Greater Bulgaria and Greater Albania as her new nothern neighbors? I do not think so.

  2. I was thinking that it could be called the Republica of Macadamia which is a great name and also a tasty, nutritious, snack for Diplomatic cocktail parties when US officials arrive?

  3. The new name should be among the following…”Vardar Republic”…Central Balkan Republic”…Skopje Republic…or even Paeonia Republic.. The name with Macedonia in it has no historical reference what so ever and falsifies history and identity. The destabilisation of the Balkans has the root cause of the horrific George W. Bush Neo Con Regime that soiled itself and made an asinine decision (among many) that privately the US State Dept. admits it should never have allowed. If this problem is to be solved, the manipulation and indoctrination of the people of the Skopje entity must stop. Reforms to school books and factual history must begin. The false statues and names of Alexander the Great from the Ancient Greek Kingdom of Macedonia must come down and airport and highway names must change to reflect truth and historical facts. The people of the Skopje entity deserve the truth and a chance to join NATO and the EU. Only by reforming and meeting the challenges of their history of 1944 and Communist dictator Joseph Tito Broz’ dream of annexing Macedonia in Greece with his province of Vardarska Banovina-by changing the name to Socialist republic of Macedonia, and inventing a language, the truth must be told to the citizens of the Skopje entity. Greece will never allow a name with “Macedonia” in it. History can not be falsified for Geo Political gains and army bases.