Lack of clarity on issue of ethnicity
In terms of there being one composite name for all uses, the Athens-Skopje deal can be considered good. This was the goal set by the overwhelming majority of Greece’s lawmakers a decade ago and it serves the national interest.
What is not clear so far is whether the agreement defines FYROM’s biggest ethnic group as Slavs and not just as “Macedonians.” Ideally, FYROM would accept that its largest ethnic groups are the Slav-Macedonians and the Albanians. The agreement instead appears to confirm the biggest ethnic group’s Slavic roots in a more roundabout manner. That said, we need to examine the final document of the agreement to determine to what extent it safeguards Greek national interests.
Harry Papasotiriou is professor of International Relations at Panteion University and director of the Institute of International Relations in Athens.