ND urges ruling coalition to make up its mind over name dispute

ND urges ruling coalition to make up its mind over name dispute

New Democracy has called on the ruling coalition to strike a uniform stance with regard to the name dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) or call elections.

Speaking to Alpha radio on Thursday, Maria Spyraki, the conservative spokesperson, said it was inconceivable for the two component parts of the coalition – leftist SYRIZA and right wing junior partner, the Independent Greeks (ANEL) – to have different opinions on what name FYROM should have in the event of a solution to the decades-old dispute.

If the government can’t present a uniform position then there is no government and elections should be called, she said.

“The sooner the better,” Spyraki stressed, predicting that 2018 will be an election year. “We are preparing our program.”

Highlighting the cracks in the government over the issue, Panos Kammenos, the leader of Independent Greeks reiterated on Wednesday that he would never back a solution including the word “Macedonia.”

Kammenos’s remarks, which came as both Athens and Skopje have expressed the will to resolve the dispute within what has been described as the window of opportunity in the first half of 2018, highlighted differences within the ruling coalition and the limitations of the leftist-led government if a deal on the name is put to a vote in Parliament.