Light in tunnel for name talks

The United Nations mediator in the name dispute between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) yesterday indicated that there was scope for a settlement to the longstanding wrangle following talks with government officials in Athens. «We’re closer now than we were in the past. I’m more optimistic than I was some time back,» Matthew Nimetz said following one-and-a-half hours of talks with Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis. Nimetz presented Bakoyannis with a tweaked version of a proposal made last October for a new name for FYROM, the Republic of Northern Macedonia. Foreign Ministry officials gave no reaction yesterday to the amended proposal. But Nimetz was upbeat. «I do think that there is desire in both countries to reach a solution,» he told reporters. Sources, meanwhile, told Kathimerini that officials in FYROM appear ready to accept a composite name solution. The envoy added that issues of language and identity were «peripheral» to current negotiations about the name.