Greek coalition partner says solution to FYROM name dispute unlikely

Greek coalition partner says solution to FYROM name dispute unlikely

It is unlikely that a solution will be found in ongoing name talks between Athens and Skopje on the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), the head of the junior partner in Greece’s coalition government said on Tuesday.

Speaking on Alpha radio, Independent Greeks chief and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos said that United Nations-brokered talks will inevitably reach an impasse because Greece’s insistence that FYROM amend its constitution to remove certain clauses seen as expressing irredentist ambitions would never pass through parliament in Skopje and could trigger early elections in the small Balkan country.

Kammenos also said that his part of right-wing nationalists would “never vote for a name that contains the term ‘Macedonia,’ whatever it may be.” His statement casts a pall on the current phase of talks, which had appeared to come close to a breakthrough last week when Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras came back from talks in Sofia with his FYROM counterpart, Zoran Zaev, with a proposal for “Republic of Ilinden Macedonia.”

While Kammenos had kept a tactful distance from the issue at the time, saying that his party would not do anything to jeopardize the course of negotiations, the proposal was rejected by all the main opposition parties. 

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