ATHENS – Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has blamed what he calls irrendentism by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the major obstacle to settling the name of that country.
A series of governments in both countries have failed for more than two decades to decide on a mutually-acceptable name for Greece’s northern neighbor, taking turns taking shots at each other as the culprits of failure.
Kotzias delivered his criticism in person to FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki even as the Greek minister promised a series of measures he said would soothe relations between the countries although Greece says FYROM claims part of the culture and history of the Greek province of Macedonia, which includes Thessaloniki.
The two met on the sidelines of an informal meeting of EU foreign ministers in Riga, Latvia where Kotzias reiterated Greece’s hopes for a mutually acceptable compound name, with a geographical qualifier for all uses, domestic and international (erga omnes).
Kotzias said that any decision on FYROM’s European Union and NATO membership will be based on the same criteria that apply for every other candidate country although every name offered so far still includes the word “Macedonia,” that is preferred by headline writers.
Greece gave the name away two decades ago and has been trying to get it back ever since.
Source: The National Herald