While still just a PASOK MP, Deputy Prime Minister Theodoros Pangalos told the US Ambassador to Greece that the Macedonia name dispute has been a “disaster” from the start and that Greece’s neighbor should be allowed to use any name it wants.
According to a batch of classified diplomatic cables from the US Embassy in Athens that were originally obtained by WikiLeaks and later seen by Kathimerini, Pangalos met with then US Ambassador Daniel Speckhard in February 2008.
In Spechkard’s dispatch to the State Department, the diplomat reports that Pangalos said it was an honor to Greece that Skopje should want to use the term Macedonia and that it should be free to do so.
Pangalos also describes as “absurd” Greek fears that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) has expansionist tendencies. He blamed this on fears on the right of Greek politics, which stem back to the Civil War and concerns that communists would enter Greece from the Slavic countries.
According to the cable, Pangalos also expressed support for the proposals put forward by United Nations mediator Matthew Nimetz.
FYROM and Greece are still discussing a possible solution to their dispute through Nimetz but there has been little movement on the issue over the past few months.