Greece in ‘No Hurry’ to Solve FYROM Name Dispute



Greece “is in no hurry” to resolve the naming dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said following the informal EU summit meeting in Brussels.

Resolving the name issue is a lot more urgent for FYROM and its European future, Tsipras noted.

“For us it would be a positive development, but for FYROM (becoming an EU member) would be of vital importance,” and its European prospects “do not go through Ankara, they go through Athens; our neighbors must understand that,” he stressed.

Earlier, his FYROM counterpart Zoran Zaev expressed the wish that the two countries could arrive to a solution as early as the end of March.

“My wish and ambition, the desire of the government and all involved in this process, is to have a solution by the end of March,” Zaev had said.

Analysts point out that the two countries seem to be following different timetables for solving the dispute.

FYROM is keen to wrap up talks soon in order to accede to the EU and NATO, whereas the Greek government which is facing Turkish aggression and strong internal opposition to a deal wants a more measured pace.

A viable solution must be found that is based on solid foundations, Tsipras said.

When a solution to the name issue nears, the government will decide how to brief Greek political leaders and “allow the expression of views,” he added.


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