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US Vice Pence intervenes in Macedonia name, Greece rejects Zaef’s proposal

Us Vice President Mike Pence has intervened in the Macedonia name negotiations and called Greek Prime Minister, Alexis Tsipras, on Saturday. Pence urged Tsipras for a solution to the Macedonia name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, taking into consideration the time pressure.

A statement released by the White House said Pence expressed appreciation on efforts to resolve the dispute and urged Tsipras to continue efforts with his FYROM counterpart, Zoran Zaef. However, the Us administration called Zaef, “Macedonian PM”.

“Vice President Mike Pence spoke today with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to express appreciation for his leadership, along with that of Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, on efforts towards resolving the longstanding name dispute. They agreed that the parties have an historic opportunity to resolve this issue and that time is of the essence. The Vice President encouraged Prime Minister Tsipras to continue working with Prime Minister Zaev on a mutually-acceptable agreement. Resolution of this issue would promote stability and peace in the region,” the white House statement read.

Mike Pence stressed that he supports the efforts of UN Special Envoy on Macedonia name issue, Mathew Nimetz.

PM Tsipras reiterated to Pence Greece’s position on the issue, which is a mutually accepted name that has to be used erga omnes, that is untranslated by all countries and all purposes.

Speaking at a meeting of SYRIZA on Saturday Tsipras said “We are working for a solution that will not be fragile and will not collapse in a few months, which will not affect the dignity and the history of both peoples.”

He noted “we did not change our positions despite the pressure” and reiterated the Greek government’s position for compound name with geographical or time designation and against all (erga omnes). “We are close but the last steps to be covered are the most difficult ones” he added.

Meanwhile, both the government and the opposition parties have rejected the latest name proposal tabled by Zaef earlier this week. In a statement issued by the Prime minister’s office on Saturday, Athens rejects the proposed name “Republic of Ilinden Macedonia” -Republika Ilindenska Makedonija – and urges Skopje to work on the names proposed by Nimetz.

Government and opposition parties in FYROM have reportedly agreed on Ilinden Macedonia and erga omnes but so far not on Greece’sdemand on constitutional changes.

Washington has a strong interest in a solution as it will enable FYROM’s accession to NATO and presses for a solution by early summer. Greece has rejected such an option without name solution.

PS If the US already considers Zaef “Macedonian PM” no need for name negotiations then, right?

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  1. Hecataeus Miletuss

    @KTG, although since I am a Greek-something I support Greece in the FYROM name dispute, I must say though for you not to put too much emphasis on VP Pence saying “Macedonian FM” as already some 140 countries, including the US, Russia China and India, already (for years) recognize this country by it’s constitutional name which is the Republic of Macedonia. Unfortunately, the name dispute is ONLY to decide what Greece will officially agree to call it.

  2. Well as far as Im concerned the name should be Vardaska as it was before Tito and Stalin tried to “eat away” at Greece.

  3. Why is this so complicated? Their proper national title is: Republic of Vardarska. What is it they have against this name? They’re making a big to do over nothing. This name is historic, it’s not like it’s anything unknown. Why not use it? The name sounds okay.

  4. Why the h-ll is this hypocritical-evangelical, moron Pence sticking his dirty nose into the FYROM debate? He should mind his own business.

  5. @Hecataeus Miletuss, I disagree with the let Pence off the hook, but I do wonder why he is concerned and curious. HM you misunderstand the situation as well…Erga Omnes means FYROM will changes it’s name for all uses , that is, all countries will use the newly negotiated name, not just Greece. You see Macedonians of Hellenic decent need to be distinguished from Slavomacedonians; and the part of Greece with her rich history has to be distinguished from the Slav Macedonian history and so on. This is the root issue here. Just using an unqualified “Republic of Macedonia” lays claim to all of Macedonia you see; this is irridentist behavior. Lots of proof for this too from FYROM minted money, School books with whole region of Macedonia claimed by Slav Macedonians etc.,

  6. Hecataeus Miletuss

    @kyrios Peri. OK, good point, but do you also scold Russia, China and the other 140 countries who have recognized it? My only concern is that sometimes the US gets the brunt of it, although other countries like those 140 in the silent majority may actually play a bigger part that protestors never realize. Anyways, Greece has the power now to reject any name not suitable, or at least get bigger rewards for playing ball? How about the US pay off a significant part of Greek debt in exchange for a quick resoloution? At least don’t just give in to the name pressure without getting a valuable cookie?