Possible breakthrough in Macedonia's name dispute triggers Greek protests

  • Mihai Turcanu
  • 22.1.2018 18:49

On 17 January, the UN Special Representative for the naming dispute between Greece and the Republic of Macedonia, Matthew Nimetz, presented new proposals to resolve the decades-long contention, after he expressed optimism about the possibility of finally reaching a settlement on 15 January.

The UN representative said it would be known in about two months whether such a scenario is feasible. He further stated that should his proposals be accepted a final resolution could be reached in about six months, as both parties, he implied, were weary of the prolonged disagreement. Nimetz subsequently hinted that FYROM's future name must include, in one way or another, the denomination of "Macedonia", thus reviving the speculation about a possible "New Macedonia", or "Upper Macedonia" designation. However, a protest attended by 90,000 people on 21 January, in Thessaloniki, Northern Greece, indicates that a segment of the Greek public would still remain strongly opposed to such a resolution. Greece has been attempting to compel its northern neighbour to renounce the usage of this name for the past 25 years, for example by blocking FYROM's integration path into EU and NATO.

About author: Mihai Turcanu

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