OPINION

New era for cooperation

Greece’s veto at the NATO summit is not aimed at FYROM, but against the intransigence and political shortsightedness of the country’s political leadership, which inflates their countrymen’s nationalist illusions, ignoring any willingness for cooperation. The freeze over Skopje, when its NATO entry was put off indefinitely, revealed how much faith the people had in the USA’s self-seeking encouragement, as well as their leaders’ immaturity. They believed that America’s Balkan policy, based on causing divisions and promoting autonomy, could quell every resistance, every other voice. But Washington cannot impose what it wills where it wills; its stature has been undermined by the course of events in Iraq and its own ongoing financial crisis. The symbolic defeat in Bucharest may mark the end of illusions and the beginning of maturity for the neighboring country. It may come to see that Greece is not an enemy, quite the contrary; it simply wants to see an accurate geographical name. A joint effort at a solution will not just lead to a mutually acceptable name, but will also forge new paths of cooperation and development, and strengthen the already existing ones. This should be Greece’s next step, after a solution is found: an assault of friendship and cooperation. Skopje needs Athens and Athens needs Skopje. The two peoples have lived together for centuries, united by more than that which divides them. Peaceful and creative coexistence is the only viable path. Super-nationalist mice that like to roar, secessionist tendencies and the creation of protectorates, Great Ideas and criminality in the dead zones are being encouraged and sparked by elements outside the Balkans. The Bucharest summit must and can herald in a new period of rapprochement, with honesty and realism, free of arbitrators and malevolent intervention.