Defence Minister Says He Will Vote Down FYROM “Macedonia” Name

It’s not the first time Defence Minister and junior government coalition partner Panos Kammenos has publicly disagreed with his PM, but at a crucial time for the coalition, a potential rift between the two partners could become an issue.

During a press conference, the right-wing minister and president of ANEL said that his party would not vote in parliament for a new name for FYROM, containing the name “Macedonia”.

In his statements, Kammenos said that a council of all political leaders under the auspices of the President of the Republic on the issue; like the one called by the late PM Konstantinos Mitsotakis, when the name dispute first erupted in 1992, was an option for a consensus on a resolution.

Interestingly enough, the minister praised Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias’ efforts on the resolution of the name dispute, saying that he is the country’s best Foreign minister ever.

Kotzias has been one of the founders of the FYROM name dispute negotiations team under the auspices of the UN. In the recent months, the negotiation has been progressing and a resolution is very close – “within months” – according to UN chief negotiator Matthew Nimetz.

The name dispute between Greece and FYROM has been going on for 25 years, since the former Yugoslav republic announced its independence under the name “Republic of Macedonia”, which Greece rejects, stating that it claims territorial ambitions against the Greek Macedonia province.


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