Greece’s tough talk on FYROM

The United Nations special negotiator on the «Macedonia» name issue said yesterday that he was leaving Athens in no doubt about Greece’s position as he heads for talks in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). «The positions of the Greek government are very clear,» said Matthew Nimetz after talks with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. The meeting focused on FYROM’s recent decision to rename its airport after Alexander the Great. Athens was angry that Skopje took the decision in breach of an agreement to hold back on any controversial moves while negotiations over the official name of Greece’s neighbor are continuing. Nimetz said the renaming of the airport had «affected, and not positively» efforts to reach a solution to the dispute between the two countries. Diplomatic sources said that Bakoyannis made it clear to Nimetz that Athens believes that Skopje’s intransigence is holding up the negotiation process and undermining efforts to find a solution.

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