Skopje’s leadership has cast doubt on claims it can change its constitution to remove designs on Greek territory.
“Any change in the Constitution of Macedonia is not a permanent guarantee for Greece, because the change can be revoked,” Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said.
Greece is asking FYROM to change irredentist articles in its constitution as a prerequisite for negotiations on the naming issue with the Balkan country.
Zaev, on the other hand, proposed, as a viable solution to the name issue, the signing and ratification of an international agreement instead of changing his country’s constitution.
He said that international agreements and UN decisions are the best way to resolve complicated issues such as the dispute between FYROM and Greece over the country’s name.
The FYROM prime minister stressed that the two countries should approach the issue without setting “red lines” in the negotiations.
“We should not set red lines if we want to find a solution. We must take care of each other in order to preserve the dignity of both peoples, of the two countries and of the two nations and, in any case, to preserve what is emotional, and that is identity.
“Identity is emotion; no one can negotiate and barter emotion. I believe that, in this spirit, by carefully approaching the partners with whom we are negotiating, we will find a solution,” Zaev said.
In this context, Zaev proposed opening the Constitution of Greece on how Athens treats Greeks outside the country, and he said that the same practice will be followed by FYROM.
“Let’s open the Constitution of Greece and see how they care for Greeks outside Greece. I am ready, as they care for Greeks outside of Greece, to care for Macedonians who live outside Macedonia,” Zaev said.
Finally, the FYROM premier claims that with the renaming of Skopje’s main airport and a major highway, his country has removed all signs of irredentism.
(Source: Athens Macedonian News Agency)