NEWS

As FYROM name talks resume, domestic rift in evidence

TAGS: Politics, Diplomacy

As Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his counterpart from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia prepare to meet in Vienna with UN envoy Matthew Nimetz, the domestic divisions over the name dispute with FYROM are clear.

During a speech at a regional conference in Thessaloniki on Thursday evening, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras  said his government was seeking a "lasting solution" to the name dispute with FYROM.

His comments came shortly after the regional governor for Central Macedonia, Apostolos Tzitzikostas, said that the only solution that "will stand" is one that does not include the term 'Macedonia,' reflecting the position of the leader of the junior coalition partner Independent Greeks, Panos Kammenos.

"Central Macedonia and Thessaloniki in particular, which wants to be a hub of growth, can only see benefits from the resolution of our dispute with our northern neighbors," Tsipras said.

In view of this, he said he could not understand Tzitzikostas's position which "goes behind the national line formed in 2008 in Bucharest when he was an MP of the majority which decided on that national line."

This does not mean the government "will settle for any solution," Tsipras said.

"We are negotiating with a sense of national responsibility with the aim of achieving a solution that will secure our history and heritage and at the same time cancel any irredentism from the other side."

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