Thursday, 16 August 2018 | News today: 2

Greek PM Tsipras: Name settlement should include compound name for overall use

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A compound name to be used both at home and abroad, which also requires changes to the Constitution, and elimination of any kind of irredentist claims constitutes the framework guaranteeing a closure of the dispute, said Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

Speaking at a meeting of SYRIZA’s parliamentary group, Tsipras amongst other things, involving the economy and the Novartis scandal, also referred to the name issue. He said the Greek government had taken the responsibility to close the issue ‘with dignity and patriotic duty’ and reiterated Athens’ position in the name talks, MIA reported.

“A solution cannot be something other than a complex name for overall use. Something that is of course preconditioned by a constitutional change to make the name solution erga omnes. There cannot be a name for use by other countries and a name that would be contained in the Constitution. Also, a precondition is to eliminate any doubt of irredentism. This is the only framework that guarantees a settlement of the issue and the entire Balkans to launch a new era, leaving behind nationalism, fanaticism and intolerance,” said Tsipras.

Addressing the MPs of the party SYRIZA, he said the government, the country, now wasn’t called on to give something that had been already given by former administrations, instead it was focused on gaining back certain things.

“What can Greece get back in return? To persuade the neighbors to stop using the term Macedonia without designation that will make clear that has nothing to do in historical or geographical terms with the Greek Macedonia. They must be persuaded to give back names and symbols that do not belong to them. Significant steps were made after Davos, with renaming the airport known as Alexander the Great Airport and the highway connecting Thessaloniki and Skopje. And to persuade them to put an end to their irredentist claims,” Tsipras said, MIA’s correspondent reported from Athens.

Negotiations won’t be easy, according to him, but there is no other way but to continue to negotiate with the neighboring country in a bid to find a mutually acceptable name.