Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras recognized that achieving the agreement which ended a decades-old dispute with North Macedonia on its name had a political cost on the government, in an interview with North Macedonian news agency MIA, ahead of his visit to Skopje on Tuesday.
“If my government had been afraid of the political price, it would not have taken the country out of the crisis and the memoranda, found a solution to the [social] insurance system, managed the refugee crisis, solved the name issue, promoted the required dialog with Turkey…However, this came at a price, because a significant portion of the Greek people was and still is seriously concerned about this issue,” he was quoted as saying by MIA.
“It is our responsibility – mine and [PM Zoran] Zaev – to show that our nations can only benefit from the path that is now open. It is also our duty to challenge the rising forces of nationalism which strives to bring us back to the dark ages,” he added.
Tsipras described his visit as “historic,” saying it aims to build trust between the two countries. The two sides will discuss issues relating to the economy, energy, defense, foreign affairs, infrastructure, transport and digital policy and sign various action plans, including one on the opening of a new border crossing in Promahi-Majden.