An honorable compromise with acceptable risk

An honorable compromise with acceptable risk

At first glance, and despite the extremely problematic handling of the issue domestically in Greece, the name deal with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) appears to be an honorable compromise with an acceptable level of risk for Greece – on the condition that noncompliance with the entirety of the accord by one side immediately relieves the other of its obligations.

The agreement allows Greece to regain a larger degree of influence and a bigger role in the Balkans, while also limiting, in the long term, Turkey’s sway and room for movement in the region.

It also brings to a close a significant chapter in Greek foreign policy, allowing the country to conserve its energies and start stockpiling diplomatic capital in order to deal with the biggest issue of Greek foreign policy: relations with Turkey.

The agreement further foresees a separation of historical heritage and identity from modern geography, while stressing the Slavic character of the neighboring country.

Last but not least, it threatens to expose any irredentist ambitions to the mitigating influence of the European Union and NATO.

Thanos Dokos is director-general of the Hellenic Foundation for European & Foreign Policy (ELIAMEP).

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