The Greek government is preparing on Tuesday to announce a long-awaited deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the naming dispute.
An announcement is expected in the afternoon after a second phone call between Alexis Tsipras and his FYROM counterpart Zoran Zaev in as many days to iron out final details.
“A deal could be announced even today,” a Greek government official who declined to be named told the Reuters news agency.
According to reports, Tsipras will later brief President Prokopis Pavlopoulos on the details of the deal. He is later expected to make a television address.
Leader of the opposition, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, has also requested a meeting with Pavlopoulos to convey New Democracy’s opposition to a deal with FYROM.
Mitsotakis has been extremely critical of the government’s handling of the FYROM naming talks. He has accused Tsipras and Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias are conducting secret diplomacy, without briefing opposition parties.
Earlier on Tuesday, leader of the Independent Greeks — the government’s junior government partner — Panos Kammenos reiterated his opposition to a composite name for FYROM that would include the word ‘Macedonia’.
He underlined however, that his party will continue to support the Tsipras government speculating that the agreement will rejected in a referendum scheduled to take place in FYROM in the autumn.
Media speculate that the name for the neighboring country will be North Macedonia (Severna Makedonija).
Athens has requested that Skopje deletes all articles in the country’s constitution it deems to be irredentist and accept that a new name will be for all uses, both domestic and international (erga omnes).
According to unconfirmed reports, Zaev is scheduled to meet German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday and present her with a proposal to resolve the decades-old name row.