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Meeting of Papadimos with Gruevski

March 4, 2012

By Dora Antoniou

Translated from Greek: Kathimerini, 02.03.2012

Their willingness to continue negotiations in the framework of the UN procedure to find a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of the name of FYROM, was expressed yesterday in Brussels by the Prime Minister mr Loukas Papadimos and his counterpart from FYROM, mr Nikola Gruevski, who met during the meeting of the European Council.

The meeting was described by the Greek side as an opportunity for the Prime Ministers of the two countries to get acquainted, something that could contribute to the creation of a climate of trust and help limit the negative declarations and actions on the part of Skopje, which damage the atmosphere.

The present conditions, however, do not leave much leeway for optimism that we can expect real progress in negotiations for the name. The political leadership of Skopje, as was shown by the recent visit of the Special Envoy Matthew Nimetz, choses to barricade itself behind the recent decision of the International Tribunal of the Hague, to which it refers at every opportunity as a justification of its positions and its attitude. In the interior, on the other hand, it continues to cultivate an atmosphere of irredentism.

Advice

However the messages that arrive to Skopje from all sides are not positive. Thus the question of enlargement is not expected to be on the agenda of the NATO summit in Chicago in May. And in its effort to gain allies that will allow FYROM to receive an invitation to enter the Alliance, Gruevski’s government receives advice to resolve the issue of the name in the immediate future.

Diplomatic sources estimate that in the coming period, as the NATO summit draws nearer, hostile declarations from Skopje toward Greece will be reinforced. Such a development, according to the same sources, will do everything except help advance the negotiations.

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