Kotzias says Prespes accord will stabilize Balkans, halt Turkish influence

Kotzias says Prespes accord will stabilize Balkans, halt Turkish influence

The agreement signed with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) will bring stability in the region and undercut Turkey's influence in the region, former foreign minister Nikos Kotzias said on Monday, during a speech in Crete.

“Do we want our most immediate neighbor to be under the influence and control of third powers, such as Turkey? Or do we want to have stability in the Balkans, in the borders, and a growing influence of our country in the region so we can ally with them against the destabilizing forces?” he asked at an event organized by political movement Pratto, which he founded.

Kotzias said the Prespes accord allows Greece to reclaim the name “Macedonia” which is the one widely used by everyone.

“FYROM is not called FYROM internationally, but 'Macedonia,' and if you see the newspapers after the vote on Saturday, they say the country will change its name from Macedonia to North Macedonia. We are reclaiming the name,” he said.

Commenting on the ruling coalition, he said the purpose of the SYRIZA-ANEL cooperation was to help the country exit the bailout phase, but now new coalitions are needed to meet a left-wing program.

Kotzias resigned last week after a tumulteous cabinet meeting during which he quarreled with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos over the Prespa agreement which the junior coalition party leader opposes. 

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