NEWS

EU rap over FYROM road

European Union officials yesterday criticized a decision by the prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to name the country’s main national highway after the ancient Greek warrior Alexander the Great, saying the move would offend Greece. «It will provoke the same problems as the renaming of Skopje’s airport,» said Erik Meijer, a Dutch Euro MP, about the decision to give the name Alexander the Macedon to the section of pan-European Corridor 10 connecting Serbia in the north to Greece in the south. Meijer, who submitted a report on FYROM to the European Commission last month, told Skopje newspaper Utrinski Vesnik that the move would fuel Greek opposition to FYROM’s EU bid. According to the newspaper, Skopje’s main soccer stadium will also be renamed, Philip the Second, after Alexander’s father. Krisztina Nagy, spokeswoman for EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn, said FYROM should beware the fallout of Skopje naming its airport Alexander the Great in 2007. «Greece saw this as a provocation,» she said.