Greek Official Pours Cold Water on Imminent FYROM Deal

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The likelihood of an imminent deal on the ‘Macedonia’ name issue seemed to recede on Friday with a Greek spokesperson claiming Skopje had moved away from earlier proposals.

According to an unnamed Greek official speaking to the Kathimerini newspaper, Skopje was “not ready” to do a deal based on what had been discussed by the two countries’ foreign ministers.

The claim follows reports on Thursday which appeared to show Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) President Gjorge Ivanov refusing to accept an ‘erga omnes’ name for the country, curbing the optimism of the country’s premier, Zoran Zaev.

Zaev had announced in a news conference on Wednesday that Athens and Skopje were very close to an agreement and that his talks with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras would seal the deal by Friday.

Ivanov, however, said talks between the two prime ministers had not followed the required legal provisions for the conclusion of international agreements, according to the MIA news agency.

This high-level rejection of a ‘Tsipras-Zaev’ deal may see the chances of a resolution in time for this month’s EU leaders’ summit recede.