NEWS

PM raps ‘falsity’ of name proposal

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis said yesterday that the latest United Nations proposal for a solution to the Macedonia name dispute did not satisfy Greece and stressed that Athens would veto Skopje’s bid to join NATO unless an acceptable compromise is reached. «A solution based on falsity is not a solution,» Karamanlis told the ruling party’s central committee, referring to the latest proposal by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz for the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to adopt the name «Republic of Macedonia (Skopje).» Karamanlis said Athens would not accept «a solution that is a vehicle for irredentist tactics.» Nevertheless the premier said that «efforts would continue» to find a mutually acceptable solution. Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed that it was not absolutely vital for a settlement to be reached ahead of a NATO summit at the end of next week, where FYROM’S accession prospects will be discussed, despite US pressure for the issue to be resolved by then. Bakoyannis said that Athens had informed Nimetz of its objections to the latest proposal, which the envoy has described as a «reasonable compromise… with a geographic dimension.» FYROM’s Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski had not made any public comments in response to Nimetz’s proposal by late yesterday. But some local newspapers said that he was also unhappy with the name.