The president of the small Centrists Union Party, Vasilis Leventis, discussed developments in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) naming issue today with US Ambassador to Athens Geoffrey Pyatt.
According to an announcement issued by the party, “The discussion between the two men revolved around the Novartis affair, but also the issue of the name of Skopje.”
The party has come out against Greece approving of any use of the name Macedonia by Skopje.
Its hardline on an issue of national import comes on the heels of a spate of opinion polls indicating that the Centrists’ Union lacks the popular support to enter parliament in the next general elections.
Regarding the FYROM issue, the party statement said that Leventis “insisted that strong incentives be offered to Skopje, such as accession to Nato and the European Union, Greek direct investments, and measures to facilitate FYROM’s use of the Port of Thessaloniki”.
“In return, the state of Skopje [sic], in a show of good faith, will accept a name without the word Macedonia. For example, it can be called Skopje,” he is quoted as saying.
The US already strongly supports FYROM’s admission to Nato and the EU.
The meeting was attended by the director of Leventis’ diplomatic office, Eleni Martsoukou, and his diplomatic advisor, Stavros Venizelos.
“If the government goes with a solution with the use of the name Macedonia, that solution will be opposed to the will of the Greek people,” Leventis declared.
“In the final analysis, it will harm the interests of the US itself, which will display ingratitude, despite Greece’s stance, which was always at the side of the US, whenever that was mandated by the defence of the free world. In the past, mistakes by US governments greatly injured the Greek people,” Leventis is quoted as having told Pyatt.