Optimism in Skopje about the solution of the name dispute

Postado Janeiro 13, 2018

The Churches stance has since 1992 been that FYROM is "appropriating and claiming what it does not own, that is, the Greek name of Macedonia, and thus injuring the Greek dignity and the historic reality".

Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has also given top priority to resolving the dispute, which has hampered Macedonia's bid to join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Athens and Skopje have been locked in a dispute over the name Macedonia since the former Yugoslavia disintegrated in 1991, with Greece citing the disagreement as its reason for blocking Macedonia's efforts to join the European Union and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation.

Greece does not want its neighbor to have the name "Macedonia", because of the existence of a region in Greece with the same name.

In his letter, Tsipras reassured Ieronymos that these concerns, especially the ecclesiastical ones, will be taken into consideration by the government during the negotiations with Skopje and called on religious authorities to contribute, "in a spirit of unity", to the government's efforts to resolve the decades-old name dispute and other national issues. Zaev has also said there is possibility of a solution in the first half of 2018. He added that a solution will be reached in the first half of this year.

"The ministers expressed their common expectation for the presentation, at the upcoming meeting...(with) the United Nations envoy of an initial framework within which the process will move forward", a Greek Foreign Ministry statement said after the meeting.

Recent reports also said that he would also consider the Slavic name Makedonija.

It is also being said that the issue may raise a dispute between the ruling Coalition of the Radical Left (SYRIZA) party and its smaller coalition partner right-wing Independent Greeks (ANEL) party.

Many countries including Turkey recognize Macedonia with its present name.