OPINION

A spineless policy

The recognition of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) by the USA as «Macedonia» was hardly a surprise, while the significance of US Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld’s visit to Skopje a few days ago was unambiguous. The only surprise was that the move took place so soon after US elections. The argument that this was done to give a boost to the FYROM government ahead of an opposition-backed referendum was merely an excuse because – as we saw in the polls – there was no chance that it would be voted through. With his unilateral decision, Bush wanted to show that he rewards countries that align themselves with his policies. In its attempt to offer FYROM’s Slav majority something in exchange for the concessions they have made to FYROM’s Albanian community, the US gave them the recognition they had sought. Greece’s policy over the past few years has been cowardly. Athens made a few efforts to develop an agreement on its neighbor’s official name but avoided pressing the matter. On the other hand, there was never any composite name accepted by Skopje that Athens then rejected… Basically, Athens wants a clear solution which respects its interests and is fair to both sides. Such solutions exist; it just requires political will for them to be accepted. Greece is ready. The same cannot be said for FYROM, maybe because the obstructive tactics it pursued all these years did not cost it anything but actually helped it win one over on Greece…