It is remarkable that at the time when the future of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) is at stake, Slav-Macedonian officials appear intransigent on the name issue, demanding that the West recognize FYROM as Macedonia. They reject all notions of a compromise solution that would accommodate both names. It is a fact that the West would like to recognize FYROM as Macedonia, believing that this would reinforce the unity of the neighboring state and the stability of the region. The Greek government has made some rather timid efforts to resume negotiations on the issue and not allow it to become an unfavorable precedent. The issue was raised during Foreign Minister George Papandreou’s meeting recently with his Slav-Macedonian counterpart. True, under present circumstances there isn’t much political room to maneuver because of the pressure put on Slav-Macedonians to make the painful concessions to the Albanian minority. In other words, the overall climate does not favor raising an additional problem. On the other hand, however, it is clear that if no solution is reached at the present juncture, the ability to find a commonly accepted compromise solution will be undercut… Our neighbors have to realize that if they do not accept a compromise solution, they will have to pay a price. But in order to realize this, Athens first has to make it clear to them. In our country, familiar problems are back in focus. The new national economy minister is called upon to promote structural changes as this is the only way to develop economic momentum. It is also the only means of overcoming current problems, one of which is the fiscal tricks of his predecessor which have started to emerge.

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