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FYROM changes stance on naming issue

The turn of events comes after a long period of turmoil in FYROM, during which former PM Nikola Gruevski renamed airports and motorways after Alexander the Great

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Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias (R) and his FYROM counterpart Nikola Dimitrov (L) during a press conference following their meeting at the Foreign Ministry in Athens on 14 June, 2017. Photo: AAP via EPA/Simela Pantzartzi

16 June 2017

After a quarter of a century of strenuous diplomatic relationships, finally a ray of light shines for Greece and its northern neighbour, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

In an interview with the Financial Times, the country's newly appointed Foreign Minister, Nikola Dimitrov expressed his willingness to concede to Greece's objections and accept a provisional name, in order for FYROM to join the NATO alliance.

"Hopefully political forces in Greece will realise this is a historic opportunity," Mr Dimitrov said, adding: "I will ask Greece to reconsider what kind of neighbour they want — do they want a stable, friendly country that offers hope for democracy and justice?"

This turn of events comes after a long period of turmoil in FYROM, following the end of Nikola Gruevski's term as prime minister, during which he renamed airports and motorways after Alexander the Great, the warrior king who created an empire stretching from Greece to India.

The new PM, Zoran Zaev, has expressed his determination to build good neighbourly relations with Greece, which he considers a "friend" of his country. This change of approach could put an end to a dispute that has plagued the two countries relations, with FYROM insisting on being called, a name rejected by Greece, as it implies a territorial claim to the northern Greek province with the same name, which occupies the largest part of the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.

Greece had vetoed the Balkan nation's application to the alliance in 2008, on historical, cultural and political grounds, but the new FYROM leadership seems to employ a more pragmatic approach, prioritising the need of being in a strong alliance, in order to face the current challenges presented in the field of diplomacy and international security.

There has not been any mention a specific name being taken into consideration, but analysts have commenting on the likelihood of a geographic term, such as 'Upper Macedonia', instead of an ethnic one.

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"Too late she cried" Greek stupidity created FYROM, and, Greek stupidity is again going to pay the price. Anyone remember a stupid little Greek Prime Minister yelling out they do not want USA bases in Greece; and; the USA creating a new state to build their bases in. When the stupid PM died every Greek was in tears and they called him a hero. No one Greek understands what they created. Fyrom was created in a manner that every colonial power creates new states. A controllable state is one with two warring tribes. You can go back hundreds of years and the unwillingness to see the real World is a Greek sickness. FYROM or East Albania wants to join what is now southern Bulgaria to form a Muslim state; and, Turkey is willing to provide the funds. Eastern part of Greece, which is almost deserted from the fear of an invasion, is either going to be part of Turkey or the new Muslim State in the Balkans. Officially Bulgaria is 20% Muslim, but the real figures are certainly more. Turkey can push a few hundred thousand easily over the border and spread them out as they did in Cyprus and make them the majority. Muslims are now the majority in Cyprus and they want Union with the south to make a state ruled by them, before becoming united with Turkey... The hatred by the British of Greek Cyprus is not understood by Greeks. The British never forgive anyone. Any Greek in southern Cyprus should sell and move while the going is good. The new Balkan state may keep the "Macedonia" name, as they know it means nothing in Athens. The Greek Left in Athens still wants to give northern Greece to anyone who puts their hands up. Greeks do not have to worry where they are going, Northern Europe needs uneducated stupid people to change the nappies of their babies, clean toilets, change bed sheets and peel carrots and potatoes; after all that is what the name of Greece means to the World. A Holy place in World culture has been shamed by stupid Barbarians, by just using its name.

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