In comments on Monday, Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias referred to the name deal agreed between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia earlier this month as "the best news in Europe in five years."
Speaking ahead of Tuesday's EU foreign affairs meeting in Luxembourg about the bloc's enlargement, Kotzias appealed to other member states to realize that the accession candidates FYROM and Albania both have problems but that those can be overcome through "monitoring and screening."
He told Euractiv he believed that the process for the launch of EU accession talks for those two countries should be launched this summer.
"I tell my colleagues they can be as strict as they want but we must not cut off those prospects," he said, expressing his fear that failure to give FYROM a date for accession talks could mean that "all the efforts we made with major sacrifices and comprises will be put at risk."
Further, he said, approving the launch of talks for one of the two countries and excluding the other could fuel instability in the region.