No deal, no NATO

We can only welcome the fact that the Socialist opposition leader George Papandreou has asked for a meeting with Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis that will take place early today. The meeting between the two leaders is sending the right message. As Karamanlis will be meeting with the other leaders of NATO member states in Bucharest, he will have the majority of Greece’s public behind him. US diplomats are expected to put all sorts of diplomatic pressure on Athens to overcome Greek objections to FYROM’s NATO membership bid. The Greek premier however has made it clear that no settlement on the name dispute means no NATO accession for Skopje. Moreover, a settlement must mean a fully binding and workable agreement. Not just promises and abstract pledges. Karamanlis and the country stand nothing to lose by insisting on this position. Only a veto, it seems, can bring about a settlement.