NEWS

FYROM planning large statue of Philip II

Just a few weeks after European Union Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule accused the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) of ?provocation? after it erected a huge bronze statue of Alexander the Great in its capital Skopje, it has emerged that FYROM authorities are building another statue, this time of the ancient warrior?s father, Philip II of Macedon.

According to a report by the Balkan Insight online news agency, the statue of Philip on its plinth is to reach a height of 28 meters – four meters higher than the Alexander monument. It will also be made of bronze and is to be erected – ?some time next year,? according to municipal spokesperson Jovica Ackovski.

There had been no official response to the news by late yesterday by the Greek government but the plans are sure to aggravate a long-running dispute with Athens over FYROM?s official name that has barred the tiny Balkan country from joining the EU and NATO. Last month Fule warned FYROM that taking action considered by Greece as ?provocative? could harm its bid to join the EU.