Thessaloniki Mayor: Politicians’ Nonsense Derailed FYROM Name Issue

It’s not the first time that Yiannis Boutaris, the unconventional mayor of Thessaloniki, has blamed politicians for unresolved issues facing the Greek society. This time he blamed them for the 25-year-old unresolved name dispute with FYROM.

Boutaris said that the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has been derailed due to Greek “politicians’ nonsense”. In an interview with the Athens News Agency Radio, Boutaris praised concessions made by the FYROM politicians.

A few days after hosting FYROM prime minister Zoran Zaev in Thessaloniki, the mayor praised the compromise both the neighbouring country’s PM and its opposition are willing to make in order to achieve a resolution on the name dispute, noting a potential renaming of the country’s airport and its street signs.

Meanwhile the political row between the Greek government and the opposition on the issue is in full swing, with conservative New Democracy vice-president Adonis Georgiadis claiming the opposition party should not be dragged by government tactics on the issue.

“We should stay away from the government attempts to divert responsibility on the issue,” Georgiadis said in a TV interview. He added that it is the government’s responsibility to resolve the issue and if there is a rift (on the issue) between the left-wing Tsipras and his right-wing coalition partner Kammenos, it should be exposed and exploited.

With negotiations on a final resolution of the FYROM name dispute about to jump start again, the issue is confusing major political parties with conflicting opinions being uttered left and right.

The government has stated that if a resolution is borne out of the ongoing negotiations in the coming months, the agreed upon FYROM name will be brought to the parliament for a debate and a vote.