German Chancellor Angela Merkel welcomed FYROM’s Zoran Zaev as “the Macedonian” Prime Minister. Did she think that Zaev’s full name was Zaevopoulos, that Greece was a federal republic and Macedonia a federal state in Northern Greece? No. She did it on purpose, she welcomed Zaev as “Macedonia Prime Minister” at the begin of their joint press conference in Berlin on Wednesday.
It is worth noting that also German government spokesman referred to “Macedonia” although in the official websites it is refer to as FYROM.
Kanzlerin #Merkel nach Besuch von MP Zaev: Nachdem sich die innenpolitische Lage beruhigt hat, braucht Mazedonien für eine EU-Perspektive nun juristische Reformen und Transparenz der Institutionen. pic.twitter.com/eXQN21hxGO
— Steffen Seibert (@RegSprecher) February 21, 2018
“After the internal political situation has calmed down, Macedonia needs justice reforms and institutions transparency for an EU- perspective,” spokesman Steffen Seiber tweeted obviously forgetting that Macedonia has been long part of the European Union.
A diplomatic faux-pas? Absolutely not.
“Merkel tries to push the West Balkan in the EU in order to avert Russian and Chinese influence,” German media like DLF noted adding the EU should make funds available for the construction of roads and highways in FYROM.
Is Berlin seeking a new colony in Balkan with direct borders to Greece and with cheap labor? Most probably. But not that she wants to have them as full members. She just wants to give them the “EU perspective,” the carrot Germany can use to keep FYROM and other EU-aspiring members as hostages. She rejects a fix date for EU entry.
Merkels’ ‘Macedonian‘ PM was anything but a diplomatic faux pas.
Chancellor Merkel wanted simply to re-confirm the German support to FYROM just as it did in the beginning of the 1990’s with its Foreign Ministers Genscher and Kinkel.
Merkel and her foreign policy civil servants in Berlin mistakenly think that if the German Chancellor calls Fyrom “Macedonia” in official meetings, Athens will do nothing but accept this name.
Unless Berlin has offered under the table and behind closed doors a devil’s trade: “Macedonia” for “Debt Relief.”
Sadly, the Greek Foreign Ministry did not comment on Merkel’s address to Zaev. Was it too busy for this? Did it consider it not very important? Time will show.
Balkaninsight.com reports from the Merkel-Zaev press conference
Macedonia and Greece are closer than at any time in the past decade to a compromise in their ‘name’ dispute, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said on Wednesday, hosting a visit by Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
German Chancellor Angela Merkel said she was pleased by the recent progress in the talks between Macedonia and Greece over Macedonia’s name, which – if they end successfully – will expedite Macedonia’s ambitions to join NATO and EU.
“I am very pleased and relieved that … there is movement in the talks,” Merkel said at a joint press conference in Berlin with Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
“In the last ten years, the solution has not been as close as it is now. It would be wonderful if the remaining difficulties can be bridged,” she added.
Merkel remarked that for Germany to take sides regarding this difficult issue would not be of much help.
She said it would take the form of a “diplomatic art” for compromise to be reached, adding that this will not be possible through press conferences but only if both sides work diligently “behind closed doors”.
Asked to specify when Macedonia might expect an invitation to join the EU and NATO, Merkel said it was not a matter of time but of the speed at which the country, as well as the entire Western Balkans, fulfilled certain reforms.
It was Zaev’s first official visit to Berlin since his centre-left government took power last May after a prolonged and turbulent political crisis.
“Our wish is to give Europe a new kind of Balkans,” Zaev said, thanking his host for Germany’s support in strengthening political and economic ties with and between the Balkan countries.