Greece's Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias hit back at the main opposition on Monday after New Democracy implicitly accused the government of caving into the demands of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) in the name deal achieved last June, following information revealed in a Wikileaks cable.
The leaked information shows FYROM was willing to accept the name Republic of Northern Macedonia or Republic of North Macedonia as early as 2008, provided it included the recognition of the “Macedonian” language and nationality.
The classified cable, titled “What the Macedonians need to resolve the name dispute”, is dated July 29, 2008 and was compiled by the then US Ambassador to the neighboring country, Gillian Milovanovic.
“It is known that Gruevski did not want any solution to the name dispute. In order to mock the international players, he pretended to be forced to accept a compromise. No one believed him. Except, in retrospect, Mr. Mitsotakis,” Kotzias said in a press release.
He said that the Wikileaks cable shows Skopje wanted to use its constitutional name “Macedonia” without any modifiers for domestic use – a condition that New Democracy had accepted.
The then government of New Democracy claimed the best solution to the dispute would be the name “North Macedonia,” which was rejected repeatedly by the country's Prime Minister at the time, Nikola Gruevski, Kotzias added.