OPINION

Farce over FYROM?

A tragicomic chapter in Greek diplomacy – namely the «FYROM name debate» – has closed with Greece’s position a fair distance from the initial stance taken by former President Constantine Karamanlis when the two main political parties bombastically declared that Greece would never recognize its neighboring former Yugoslav republic under a name including the word «Macedonia.» Greek politicians had counted on the European Union to achieve this «national goal» – especially following the European summit of 1992, which was attended by the then foreign minister Constantine Mitsotakis following the departure of Antonis Samaras. But of course these ambitions came to nothing. With the return to power of Andreas Papandreou in 1993 came the imposition of economic sanctions against FYROM. Yet under pressure from the international community, the PASOK government backtracked, revising this dead-end policy and signing an interim agreement in 1995. After a decade of negotiations over an official name, the Greek side appears to have conceded to a shift from the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to the «New Republic of Macedonia» without having secured the consent of the other side. And this is the farcical outcome of 14 years of diplomatic efforts…