New coalition rift emerges ahead of FYROM name talks


Comments made by Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, who leads the junior coalition partner Independent Greeks (ANEL) on Thursday, pointed to a new rift within the administration ahead of talks aimed at resolving a longstanding dispute with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the latter's name.

The two men made their comments to reporters separately following talks under Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras on the issue. 

Kotzias indicated that the solution would comprise a composite name while Kammenos reiterated his stance according to which the name Macedonia should not form part of a composite name.

Kammenos referred to the "established Greek position" as set by a decision of political party leaders in 1992 when it was determined, following a political crisis, that the name Macedonia should not be used in a solution.

Kotzias, however, struck a different tone. "As it has repeatedly claimed, the government is negotiating for a composite name, something that Greece had presented as its position in Bucharest," he said, apparently referring to a 2008 NATO summit where Athens vetoed FYROM's accession to the alliance until the name dispute is resolved.