Macedonia Frowns at Greece over Name Dispute 'Foot-Dragging'

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | March 6, 2012, Tuesday // 13:51
Bulgaria: Macedonia Frowns at Greece over Name Dispute 'Foot-Dragging' Macedonian President George Ivanov. Photo by BGNES

Macedonian President George Ivanov has accused Greece of deliberately protracting the name dispute between the two countries.

"The Macedonian question is not on Athens' highest agenda. We have a problem, while Greece has no problems," Ivanov has stated in an interview for an Austrian media, as cited by dnevik.bg. He has added that Macedonia has lost two decades due to the name dispute.

"Athens is blocking the launch of our EU accession negotiations. We already fulfilled all requirements for NATO, but Greece imposed a veto in 2008. That has negative consequences on the whole region. We are blocked, Kosovo is not recognized, there is no development on Cyprus, but Greece is a EU member state," Ivanov has been cited saying.

Macedonia is registered at international organizations as the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia because of the name dispute, rather than Republic of Macedonia at Greece's insistence, which fears the name "Macedonia" might spur territorial claims for its northern regions.

Macedonia continues to have no date for starting the EU talks as the Council of the European Union has repeatedly put off grating the country a date, largely because of its name dispute with Greece.

Greece and international intermediaries have suggested that the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should adopt a name such as "Republic of Northern Macedonia" or "Republic of Macedonia-Skopje", which have been rejected by the Macedonian authorities.

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Tags: FYROM, George Ivanov, NATO, greece, macedonia, name dispute, EU, NATO
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