The Zaev government of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia is taking a large step to ease tensions with Greece, by removing a series of statues of historical figures such as Alexander the Great, from the streets of Skopje.
The statues were erected as part of the previous government’s flagship program, Skopje 2014.
Former PM Nikola Gruevski had announced the program as part of a policy to boost tourism and strengthen national identity, but the plan backfired in all aspects.
Originally estimated to cost around 80 million euros, it ended up costing nine times that amount, i.e. around 700 million.
Budget aside, it jeopardised relations with most of the country’s neighbours, from Greece to Albania, which was not happy to see a statue of Mother Theresa among those boosting national pride in FYROM’s capital.
What’s more, FYROM’s moderate PM Zoran Zaev, is also seriously considering changing the name of Skopje’s Airport from Alexander the Great, in another attempt to re-establish his country’s severed ties with Greece, according to a report in The Calvert Journal.