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Nimetz is Coming to Athens with a new Proposal, while Gruevski is Isolated.

December 16, 2012

The Prime Minister of fYROM was absolutely isolated in the E.U. summit

By Dora Antoniou, Kathimerini, 15.12.2012 (Translated from the Greek original by B.S.)

Toward the end of the first ten days of January the special intermediary of the United Nations for the issue of the name, Matthiew Nimetz, will visit Athens and Skopje, so as top present, after 3.5 years, a new proposal for the resolution of the issue of the name.

Antonis Samaras

Yesterday, from Brussels, the Prime Minister [of Greece], mr. Antonis Samaras, placed the leadership of fYROM before its responsibilities, faced with the new initiative of Nimetz. Answering a question concerning the aggressive stance of his Skopjan counterpart, Nikola Gruevski, who had accused Greece as being responsible for the failure of his country to obtain a date for the commencement of accession talks, accusing Athens for a lack of respect to international law and of breaching its commitments, the Prime Minister indicated the responsibility of Skopje for the European perspective of fYROM. He stressed that the European Council [of General Affairs and External Relations] agreed that the resolution of the issue of the name is a condition for the commencement of the accession procedure and added that in this course there “are two keys. One is held by Skopje and the other by Europe”.

Nikola Gruevski

The outburst of mr. Gruevski, that was expressed in a misspelled declaration to the press that his collaborators distributed, apart from the frustration caused by the failure to receive a date for the commencement of accession talks, is possibly also due to the fact that the Skopjan Prime Minister found himself absolutely isolated by the European partners in Brussels, a result of the work that had previously been done by the Greek representation and he received the clear message that the European prospect of his country is now absolutely connected to the progress on the issue of the name, which will be evaluated by the European Commission in the Spring.

Strong Pressure

The pressure toward the government of the neighbouring country is increasing, as Washington also, through the representative of the State Department, Victoria Nuland, answering a question concerning the results of the summit, declared that fYROM must work with its neighbours for a dignified, practical and mutually acceptable resolution of differences as fast as possible, so that the gates of the EU and NATO open.

Matthew Nimetz

Mr. Nimetz, coming to Athens and Skopje, will try to take advantage precisely of this pressure that is being mounted toward the side of Skopje, with the hope that the Skopjan side will become more productive in the negotiations, so that progress can be made. In any case, the hopes of the Skopjan leadership that it could exploit the decision of the Hague in favour of their European and Euroatlantic prospects or that Greece, because of the economic crisis would find itself in a weakened position and would be pressured to retreat and give its accord for the entry of fYROM into NATO and the EU, did not pay off.

The special intermediary hopes that the evaluation of the providing of a date for the commencement of accession talks for Skopje based on an effort to resolve the issue, created the conditions that could work favourably for the negotiation procedure. The last proposal of mr. Nimetz, in July 2009, concerned the name “Republic of Northern Macedonia. Athens expects that the new proposal that the special intermediary will bring will not be far from the previous one.

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