Former Greek Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis, who was instrumental in blocking Macedonia’s NATO membership in 2008, said that she will refer to the country as “Republic of North Macedonia” in the future, but will not use the term “Macedonian” to describe Macedonians.
I will of course call it North Macedonia, as I call any other country by its name. I always called our neighboring country the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia”, which was its official name. Now the official name is “North Macedonia” and I will use it. What I will not do is, I will not call its Prime Minister Macedonian. I will call Zaev or the next Prime Minister, the “Prime Minister of North Macedonia”. I believe that is the fundamental error in this treaty, Bakoyannis said.
Her New Democracy party, led by her brother Kyriakos Mitsotakis, voted against the Prespa treaty. Bakoyannis objects to the clause of the treaty which allows Macedonians to use the adjective, although with a qualifier – “Macedonian/citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia”.
Bakoyannis’ father Konstantinos Mitsotakis lost his position as Prime Minister after a nationalist rebellion in his coalition in 1993, and she has been a hardliner on the issue ever since, and as Foreign Minister she vetoed Macedonia’s NATO membership at the Bucharest summit. In an interview with the News247 radio, she said that her disagreements with the name treaty go deep and that the problem of what Greece calls “irredentism” has not been resolved.
New Democracy is expected to form the next Government given its overwhelming lead in the run up to the elections likely to be held in October. Mitsotakis said that it will continue to block “North Macedonia” in its bid to join the EU, despite the Prespa treaty being ratified.