A waste of time and energy

A series of poor decisions and tardiness by Greece’s governments during the 1990s combined with the insistence of some of the country’s Western allies that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) be recognized as «Macedonia» should not make Greece behave as some second-class statelet. Greece has its own, important role in the Balkans. It is a prominent member of Mediterranean Europe and cannot afford to jeopardize its image by dealing with distrustful and fixated interlocutors. Even bargaining has its limits. After all, Greece’s moderate and pragmatic proposal for a single name based on geography (rather than ethnicity) was turned down by an arrogant Skopje. The part has no right to lay claim to the whole. And Greece cannot afford to waste its diplomatic energy (and taint its image) by being buffeted around by wayward neighbors and allies that fail to grasp the limits of realism and conciliation.

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