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Nimetz Floats New Macedonia ‘Name’ Proposal

April 16, 2013

The UN special envoy to the Macedonia-Greece talks tabled a fresh proposal for solution to the dispute at his last meeting with representatives of both countries in New York.

Sinisa Jakov Marusic, Balkan Insight, 10.04.2013
Mediator Matthew Nimetz [middle] | Photo by UN/Eskinder Debebe

After a joint discussion on Tuesday in New York with Macedonia’s negotiator, Zoran Jolevski, and Greece’s Adamantios Vassilakis, Mathew Nimetz said that he had put forward a new proposal.

“I did present to both sides some new thinking on my side, a new proposal,” Nimetz said, “and I am very hopeful that both sides will find positive ingredients in this proposal and hopefully it can pave the way for serious discussions and, hopefully, a solution.”

Nimetz said his unnamed proposal was based on the previous feedback he obtained from both sides.

Avoiding direct reference to a concrete solution to the dispute, Nimetz said he had tried “to refine those ideas and give them some new formulations that might meet the issues and objections and the problems we have had the last time around”, referring to the previous round of talks held on January 29-30.

He also announced a new meeting “within the next few months”.

The fresh talks are part of a new effort to reach a compromise following a December statement by the EU Council, which said that any decision on opening accession talks with Macedonia would be based on a special report by the European Commission, due April 16.

The report will assess whether Macedonia has made genuine steps towards reaching a deal with Greece over its name, among other matters.

The name talks in New York coincided with Tuesday’s visit of the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Stefan Fuele, to Macedonia.

“The synchronized activity between Nimetz and Fuele forms a fresh attempt to ‘pack’ a name deal in order to boost the chances of a start to [EU accession] talks in June,” Malinka Jordanova, head of the Institute for European Policy, a Macedonian NGO, told Deutsche Welle.

“Certainly most European countries are quite interested [in the talks],” Nimetz said at the press conference in New York.

Greece insists that Macedonia’s name implies territorial claims to its own northern province, also called Macedonia.

Macedonia has obtained annual recommendations for a start to EU membership talks in European Commission reports since 2009.

But it has never been offered a date for the talks because of the Greek blockade related to the dispute over its name.

 

SEE ALSO:

Athanasios Ellis, “Συντονισμένες ενέργειες για το όνομα [Cοοrdinated Actions for the Name]”, Kathimerini, 14.04.2013

Athanasios Ellis, “Δυσαρέσκεια της Αθήνας από τη νέα πρόταση της Αθήνας για την ΠΓΔΜ [Dissatisfaction of Athens from the new proposal on FYROM]”, Kathimerini, 14.04.2013

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