Greek PM Tsipras remains Positive regarding Name issue

09012018 2

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras remains positive when it comes to the name issue. In a statement for Greek newspaper Nea Selida, he said that 2018 was an important year for his country because, among other things, an important window was being opened with a chance for a solution to the name dispute. “I am convinced that the hour has come for us to make the necessary decisions with which will we justify Greece’s role as a leader’s force in the Balkans, but also as a pillar of stability in the wider region. It’s about a serious challenge – an economic, but also a geopolitical one. In the economy, but also in foreign policy, Greece should be creating a new dynamic physiognomy of a modern state that solves the problems,” he stressed. In his view, the government has the will and capacity to secure that process towards the future. Tsipras levelled criticism at New Democracy, accusing the opposition party of assuming a paralysing and irresponsible stand. However, he said he hoped the opposition would nonetheless realise the name issue shouldn’t be part of intra-party games. The leader of the party, Kyriakos Mitsotakis, told Capital.gr he was still waiting for concrete information from the government. “I’m expecting Tsipras to fully express the government’s position on behalf of the two coalition partners. I think there is no need to continue this debate until the opposition is officially informed about the negotiations that were stuck,” he said. The Greek associations that are collecting signatures for the term “Macedonia” not to be included in the name will organise a protest in Thessaloniki on 21 January, media in Greece reported. During an event in the same city, Mayor Yiannis Boutaris, Metropolitan Anthimos and the Minister for Macedonia and Thrace, Maria Kollia-Tsaroucha, were asked about the name issue. Both Anthimos and Kollia-Tsaroucha presented the stand that “Macedonia is Greek”. Boutaris was the only one who sent a moderate and friendly message. “I know one thing. We should have good relations with our neighbours,” the Thessaloniki Mayor stressed. According to Greek newspaper Real news, mediator Matthew Nimetz will use the meeting with negotiators Vasko Naumovski and Adamantios Vassilakis to table three proposals: “New Macedonia”, “Upper Macedonia” and “North Macedonia”. Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev considers that the time to discuss proposals still hasn’t arrived. In an interview with MKD.mk, he said he was convinced that should be done by the end of the first half of 2017. “I don’t intend to sell or buy anything. In the process to resolve the name issue, we should preserve the dignity of the people, of the nation and of the country,” Zaev pointed out. He believes the dispute will be resolved by the end of June.

(Kanal 5; Sitel; Telma; Alfa; MTV1; MIA; Makfax)