We have had enough of shadow boxing with the past on the FYROM naming issue. What happened ten, twenty, or thirty years ago is of little import today.

It is obvious historically that Greece lost an historic opportunity to achieve a nationally beneficial composite name, because sentimental outbursts and national passions dominated the issue, due to the fleeting ulterior motives of persons and political parties.

Citizens may be entitled to express their emotions and concerns, legitimate or not. But political leaders are obliged to place the national and geopolitical interests of the country first. They must not be subjugated to populist conceptions and vote-mongering motivations.

That is exactly what is being served today by a sterile, dead end obsession with the past, which is being fueled by the country’s chief negotiator.

Many media outlets also bear responsibility for this climate, as they invest in the exploitation of patriotism and the emotional charge of a segment of Greek society. This futile battle, at a moment when for the first time we are supposed to be close to a solution which ensures our national interests, leads only to the fueling of political passions.

The government and the opposition have a duty to make clear to the citizenry that Skopje is not a threat to our country. A mutually acceptable solution ensures the security and stability of the broader Balkan region.

The only serious and real threat to Greece, as one sees daily, comes from Turkey.

We have every reason to close this open wound on our northern borders.

A small country that is seeking to become a member of Nato and the EU, and which seeks cooperation, does not have the capability to ever threaten our country.
Let us then leave aside the fears and concerns of the past, and gaze upon the future with clear eyes.