Main opposition New Democracy spokesperson Maria Spyraki charged that the government has no clear position on the FYROM name issue, and underlined that the ministers of foreign affairs and defense have a diametrically opposed stance on the issue.
“In the new negotiations on the name for Skopje, the government does not have a clear position. [Foreign Minister Nikos] Kotzias says one thing, [Defense Minister Panos] Kammenos another, and Syriza ministers express opposite views,” Spyraki said.
“This erratic situation is dangerous for the interests of the country. We call on the ruling coalition partners to reach agreement and decide o a position which they will present. New Democracy recalls the position that our party imposed at [the 2009 NATO summit in] Bucharest, which is one name for all uses,” Spyraki said.
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias made clear in an interview that Syriza’s coalition partner, the right-wing Independent Greeks party, is in no position to block a prospective deal, as the government can pass a deal through parliament with the votes of opposition parties.
The government consequently is not in need of Kammenos’ nine parliamentary seats to approve a deal. It is almost certain that New Democracy and the centre-left Movement for Change and To Potami parties would approve a composite name that would be used by all, within FYROM, in Skopje’s bilateral relations with third countries, and in international organisations. That would likely be the word Macedonia preceded by a geographic marker.
The remarks came after Independent Greeks leader and defense minister Panos Kammenos declared that he will never consent to a name that includes the term Macedonia.
Kammenos cited the April, 1993, conference of political leaders convened by then president Constantine Karamanlis, which decided not to recognise any name that included the word Macedonia.