Opposition MP and ex-FM accuses gov’t of ‘arrogance’ in FYROM name talks


The government is showing “arrogance” in regards to fresh efforts to resolve a longstanding name dispute between Greece and its northern neighbor, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), said New Democracy’s Dora Bakoyannis.

The lawmaker and former foreign minister also accused the government of weakening its position in the name talks by failing to present a central position.

“When you project an image whereby everyone is saying their own thing, how are the others supposed to take you seriously?” Bakoyannis said, echoing criticism of an apparent rift in the coalition government regarding potential proposals that may be put forward to pave the way to a solution.

“I consider it an incredible weakness of the government that it is not keeping the opposition informed. This is a sign of arrogance. National issues are not party issues,” the conservative lawmaker said.

“When you have a government where one minister cannot convince another on the correctness of his negotiating line, this significantly weakens the Greek position,” Bakoyannis added.

Her comments came a day after Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias suggested that the government would be open to a composite name with a geographical qualifier and just hours after a lawmaker with coalition partner Independent Greeks said the right-wing nationalist party would never consent to a name containing the word “Macedonia.”