Greek FM Meeting Opposition over ‘Macedonia’ Talks

Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is briefing the leaders of the country’s opposition parties on Monday regarding talks over the ‘Macedonia’ name dispute.

However, the leader of the largest opposition New Democracy party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis has refused to meet Kotzias, delegating the briefing to his party’s foreign affairs spokesman instead.

At noon, Kotzias met Greek Communist Party leader Dimitris Koutsoumbas. In the afternoon, he will meet the head of the Potami (River) party, Stavros Theodorakis.

On Tuesday he will meet Movement for Change leader Fofi Gennimata and Centrists’ Union chief Vassilis Leventis.

UN special representative on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz recently expressed optimism after talks between Greece and Skopje in Vienna last week, saying that progress had been made on all fronts.

Kotzias said the two parties had “identified the main issues for each side and I hope that at our next meeting we will be ready to take a big step”.

He is due hold further talks with his FYROM counterpart next week.

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