OPINION

A diplomatic tug of war that can be won

Everything seems to indicate that Greece will have to block FYROM’s NATO membership bid at the upcoming alliance summit. Regardless of the negotiating errors that have been made in the previous weeks, the moment of truth for the Macedonia name dispute has finally arrived. The conservative government in Athens must maintain a sober stance and avoid the diplomatic pitfalls lying beneath the last-minute American pressure. It has now become obvious that Athens is not faced with a well-meaning interlocutor in Skopje. At the same time, Washington has shown little understanding for Greek concerns. As a result, this is expected to be a harsh diplomatic battle, all the way to and after the veto. Greece, of course, has nothing to fear. It must negotiate in a decisive but cool-headed manner. The diplomatic tug of war will be a long one, but it can be won if the Greek side manages to avoid making more mistakes and manifesting its insecurity.