Sunday, 16 December 2018 | News today: 2

Greek FM Kotzias seeks package deal and constitutional changes

The Constitution should be changed paving the way for the name to be used both internally and externally and also for eliminating any possibility for accusations to be made in the future that constitutional provisions have been breached, Greece’s Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias has said.

I’m a moderate optimist and the two sides have still work to do, Kotzias said in an interview with the Greek newspaper “Documento”, MIA’s correspondent from Athens reports.

According to him, any possible solution should not be seen as ‘one party imposing its opinion on the other’, it should instead be conceived as a package of agreement containing the necessary mutual compromises.

The agreement, Kotzias said, should be, in fact, a package of agreement to include the issues discussed at the UN, to eliminate irredentist claims and to offer measures and conditions curbing their possible emergence, to support the integration of the neighboring country into international organizations and joint activities. “It takes time to implement all of this.”

He called it ‘an element of pragmatism, realism, decisiveness and sense of responsibility.’

Asked whether an international treaty would be enough for Macedonia to avoid amending the Constitution, the Greek Minister said a constitution superseded any international agreement, MIA reports.

The window of opportunity to solve the name issue, according to Kotzias, has been opened ‘because of the political principles of the Greek government, the confidence-building measures and the shift in power’ in Macedonia.

When asked, however, about how close or how far away are the countries from reaching an agreement, FM Kotzias said he was ‘a moderate optimist.’

“We have still work to do. But, the there’s so many opportunities now to solve the issue than several years ago. I want to be a moderate optimist. I know the difficulties and I know that the negotiations have had many turning points. All those who work in diplomacy, it is their job to turn enthusiasm into a positive energy in order to address the difficulties and to overcome them,” noted the Greek Minister.