The head of the European People’s Party (EPP) hailed ongoing name talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as a “window of opportunity” for a breakthrough on an issue that has divided the Balkan neighbors for more than two decades.
“I hope that a mutually acceptable solution will be found and we welcome this window of opportunity that could lead to concrete results,” Jospeh Daul told Euractiv on Wednesday.
Daul also indicated that the center-right EPP’s position is different to that of its Greek affiliate, conservative New Democracy, which, he claimed, wants the name talks to be postponed to a later date.
This prompted an immediate response from the leftist-led Greek government, which described them as a “slap in the face” for New Democracy, accusing the opposition leader of bowing to pressure from the far right.
Daul’s comments came after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras met his FYROM counterpart Zoran Zaev on the sidelines of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, in what observers have described as an amicable exchange of expressions of goodwill but also of red lines.