OPINION

Mutual steps, better neighbors

Prime Minister Costas Karamanlis is not traveling to Bucharest on his own. He has the clear backing of all of Greece’s political leaders and the desire of all Greeks to solve the Macedonia name dispute in a mutually beneficial fashion. Greece has shown great maturity in the final stage of negotiations. It avoided populist cries and noisy sound bites aimed at public consumption, unlike some of the parties in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Greece behaved in a reasonable fashion as a major Western country and also a member of the Balkans. It’s time that the Skopje government did the same. It must behave as a Western state that wishes to join the transatlantic alliance. FYROM must shed its maximalist stance and assume its own share of the responsibility so that an understanding can be reached. Mutual steps will make better neighbors. That’s regardless of what our transatlantic allies have to say – who are after all thousands of miles away.