The SYRIZA-Independent Greeks government assumed the political responsibility for the agreement under which the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will be recognised as Republic of Northern Macedonia.

At the same time, it undertook an historic responsibility. It must complete the agreement in such a manner that it will not prove to be a dead letter for our country or a fait accomplis for our neighbour.

That means that in the one year it will take for ratification of the agreement, one must be extremely careful, so as to ensure that the commitments it contains are met.

With the name issue having tortured the two sides for decades, it becomes clear that the agreement takes on a special weight that transcends the limits of just any international agreement. The largely unknown obstacles that must be transcended until the final ratification bear witness to the fact that the agreement is essentially a journey in uncharted waters.

When one sails in uncharted waters, there is always a danger that any agreement can be transformed into a national defeat.

That is why, at the current juncture, premature celebrations can prove devastating. Prudence, calm, and vigilance are required in managing issues of national importance.

Compromise is a process of give-and-take. The future historian will evaluate the balance, with the luxury of the distance in time.

Until then, one must bear in mind that there are no compromises without concessions. Every compromise, as painful as it may be, can be tolerated, as long as it is honest.

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