Opposition leaders reject as irredentist the proposed name ‘Ilinden Macedonia’ for FYROM

Opposition leaders reject as irredentist the proposed name ‘Ilinden Macedonia’ for FYROM

Greek party leaders have rejected "Republic of Ilinden Macedonia” as a candidate name for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, while opposition has also been expressed from within ruling SYRIZA.

In phone conversations with Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, the leaders of the New Democracy, Movement For Change, To Potami and Greek communists KKE all rejected the proposal, which was reportedly made on Friday by FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev to Tsipras during their Sofia talks.

However, for the Greek government this name is considered a basis for discussion that could lead to a viable solution

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis reportedly told Tsipras that the Republic of Ilinden Macedonia is “unacceptable” as it smacked of irredentism. 

Ilinden refers to an anti-Nazi uprising in the Balkans in 1944 which, however, sought to unify the geographic area of Macedonia, including parts of Greece. Its historical connotations are seen as a stumbling block for many Greeks.

According to ND, “any reference to Ilinden in the neighboring country’s name does not put an end to the irredentism of Skopje, but instead it confirms and strengthens it.

“That’s why it is unacceptable to even discuss this,” it said.

For her part, Movement for Change leader Fofi Genimata also expressed her opposition to the Ilinden term calling it the “epitome” of irredentism and insisted that Greece sticks to the position that any name that is agreed must be used erga omnes- domestically as well as internationally – and for Skopje to rid its constitution of anything that can lead to irredentist claims to Greece’s northern province of Macedonia.

To Potami’s Stavros Theodorakis, the KKE’s Dimitris Koutsoumbas and the Union of Centrist Vasilis Leventis have all said they are not on board. 

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