NEWS

Nimetz: Failure to ratify Prespes deal would have ‘profound’ consequences for both sides

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United Nations diplomat Matthew Nimetz, who has mediated talks between Athens and Skopje on the name dispute, has said that failure to ratify the so-called Prespes accord would have “profound” consequences for both sides.

“If the Prespes agreement does not come into effect, the consequences of the failure will be profound and both sides might well reconsider many elements that had been agreed to,” Nimetz said in an interview with state-run Athens-Macedonian news agency Wednesday.

The American diplomat said he did not believe a “quick fix” would be likely in that case.

“I can foresee many different scenarios that might be possible, some of them quite risky,” he said.

Nimetz said he believed it “would take years” before the two sides could reach an alternative agreement on the dispute.

“There are likely to be different political dynamics in both countries, as well as changes in the regional and global environment,” he said.

Greek MPs were Wednesday debating the deal in a stormy parliamentary session scheduled to culminate in a vote late Thursday. Wednesday's plenary debate began after the deal passed through Parliament's committee on defense and foreign policy.

Critics have called for a demonstration in Athens Thursday.