FYROM move piques Athens

A bid by the government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to assume the presidency of a Council of Europe body under the name Macedonia is exploitative and a mistake, a government official in Athens said yesterday. Dinos Vrettos, who leads Parliament’s defense and foreign affairs committee, expressed exasperation at Skopje’s use of the title «Macedonian presidency 2010» ahead of its scheduled assumption of the rotating six-month presidency of the Council of Europe’s committee of ministers. «It is a mistake on the part of FYROM to exploit this opportunity,» Vrettos said. In a related development, the US ambassador to FYROM, Philip Reeker, urged Skopje to focus on talks aimed at settling a dispute with Greece over the Balkan country’s official name. Without a resolution, he said, «Macedonia’s future leaves a large question mark.»

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