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Wywiad Ministra Spraw Zagranicznych Grecji, D. Droutsas dla “Rzeczpospolitej”

Grecy mają prawo protestować
Turyści nie powinni mieć już problemów – zapewnia „Rz” Droutsas, minister spraw zagranicznych Grecji

Jeszcze niedawno Grecja była uważana niemal za bankruta. Niektórzy sugerowali, że – aby się ratować – powinna sprzedać swoje wyspy, a nawet Akropol. Jak sytuacja wygląda dzisiaj? Dimitris Droutsas: Grecja musiała stawić czoło wielkiemu gospodarczemu wyzwaniu. I nadal je stawia, nie ma co do tego żadnej wątpliwości. Obecny rząd, który przejął odpowiedzialność za kraj 13 miesięcy temu, od samego początku bardzo mocno wziął się do restrukturyzowania gospodarki. I natychmiast podjął kroki bolesne, ale niezbędne. Obniżył pensje, zreformował system administracji państwowej, zmniejszył liczbę prefektur z ponad 50 do 13. Do niedawna mieliśmy ponad 2 tysiące samorządów miejskich. Teraz około 350. Dzięki temu byliśmy w stanie zmniejszyć biurokrację, a co za tym idzie – zmniejszyły się wydatki państwa. Nie zawaham się powiedzieć, że dzięki temu możemy też walczyć z korupcją. Po ciężkich miesiącach pracy mamy już znaczące rezultaty. W 2010 roku obniżyliśmy deficyt o 6 procent. W rekordowym czasie, tylko w ciągu jednego roku! To bez precedensu nie tylko w Grecji, ale w całej Europie.

Akropol jest bezpieczny?

To pomysł bardziej niż szalony. Nigdy nie odpowiadaliśmy na takie sugestie mediów, gdyż nie traktujemy ich poważnie. Ale również dlatego, że grecki naród naprawdę przeżywa bardzo trudny okres. Musi godzić się na bardzo wiele wyrzeczeń. A mimo to podjął walkę o przyszłość Grecji. Grecy potrzebują dziś słów uznania dla tego, co robią. Także solidarności. A na pewno nie takich głupich propozycji, jak sprzedaż Akropolu.

Czy można zatem powiedzieć, że Grecja wychodzi na prostą i kryzys ma się ku końcowi?

Dużo zrobiliśmy, ale czeka nas jeszcze dużo pracy. Jesteśmy na nią gotowi – i rząd, i naród – choć akceptowanie cięć i zmian nie jest łatwe, gdyż one dotykają każdego obywatela Grecji bez wyjątku. Większość Greków wie jednak, że te zmiany są konieczne i popiera je. Pamiętajmy, że uniknęliśmy najgorszego scenariusza, czyli bankructwa. Dziś ważne jest, że Grecy widzą światło w tunelu i że to światło widać wyraźnie. Wiemy, że jeśli dalej będziemy iść tą drogą, czeka nas jasna przyszłość.

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Συνέντευξη ΥΠΕΞ Δ. Δρούτσα στην πολωνική εφημερίδα Rzeczpospolita (22.1.2011)

Η εφημερίδα Rzeczpospolita δημοσίευσε στην έκδοση του Σαββατοκύριακου (22-23/1/2011) συνέντευξη του Υπουργού Εξωτερικών Δημήτρη Δρούτσα, η οποία παραχωρήθηκε στη δημοσιογράφο Katarzyna Zuchowicz κατά τη διάρκεια της επίσημης επίσκεψης του υπουργού στη Βαρσοβία στις 19 Ιανουαρίου και διευθετήθηκε κατόπιν ενεργειών του Γραφείου Τύπου.
Πληρέστερη μορφή της συνέντευξης έχει αναρτηθεί στην ηλεκτρονική σελίδα της εφημερίδας (http://www.rp.pl/artykul/598043.html). 
Με τίτλο «Οι Έλληνες έχουν δικαίωμα να διαμαρτύρονται» και υπότιτλο «Συνομιλία / “Αποφύγαμε το χείριστο, δηλαδή την πτώχευση»” διαβεβαιώνει ο επικεφαλής του Ελληνικού Υπουργείου Εξωτερικών, Δημήτρης Δρούτσας», η δημοσιογράφος αναφέρει εισαγωγικά τα εξής:
«Νέες διαδηλώσεις κατά των κυβερνητικών σχεδίων εξοικονόμησης συγκλονίζουν την Ελλάδα. Τις τελευταίες ημέρες απεργούσαν γιατροί, φαρμακοποιοί, δικηγόροι, υπάλληλοι των σιδηροδρόμων, οδηγοί λεωφορείων στην Αθήνα, υπάλληλοι αρμόδιοι για την καθαριότητα του δήμου στη Θεσσαλονίκη. Την Πέμπτη στους δρόμους ξεχύθηκαν μερικές χιλιάδες άτομα. Στις αρχές Φεβρουαρίου θα πραγματοποιηθεί απεργία στον δημόσιο τομέα».
Ακολουθεί το πλήρες κείμενο της συνέντευξης:

 ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΣ: Μέχρι πρότινος η Ελλάδα φαινόταν σαν είναι στο χείλος της χρεωκοπίας. Ορισμένοι άφηναν να εννοηθεί ότι προκειμένου να σωθεί, θα πρέπει να πουλήσει τα νησιά της ή ακόμη και την Ακρόπολη. Πως παρουσιάζεται η κατάσταση σήμερα;

ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ: Η Ελλάδα έπρεπε να αντιμετωπίσει μια μεγάλη οικονομική πρόκληση. Και εξακολουθεί να την αντιμετωπίζει, δεν υπάρχει γι` αυτό καμία αμφιβολία. Η παρούσα κυβέρνηση, η οποία ανέλαβε την ευθύνη της χώρας πριν από 13 μήνες, από την αρχή ασχολήθηκε πολύ έντονα με την αναδιάρθρωση της οικονομίας. Και αμέσως προέβη σε οδυνηρές, αν και απαραίτητες ενέργειες. Μείωσε τους μισθούς, μεταρρύθμισε το σύστημα της κρατικής διοίκησης. Μείωσε τον αριθμό των περιφερειών από 50 σε 13. Μέχρι πρότινος είχαμε περισσότερους από 2.000 δήμους. Τώρα έχουμε 350. Χάρη σε αυτό ήμασταν σε θέση να περιορίσουμε τη γραφειοκρατία και κατά συνέπεια τις δαπάνες του κράτους. Δεν θα διστάσω να πω ότι χάρη σε αυτό μπορούμε να καταπολεμήσουμε και τη διαφθορά. Μετά από τόσο δύσκολους μήνες εργασίας έχουμε πλέον σημαντικά αποτελέσματα. Το 2010 μειώσαμε το έλλειμμα κατά 6%. Σε χρόνο ρεκόρ, σε διάστημα μόλις ενός έτους! Είναι άνευ προηγουμένου, όχι μόνο στην περίπτωση της Ελλάδας, αλλά και σε ολόκληρη την Ευρώπη.

ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΣ: Η Ακρόπολη είναι ασφαλής;

ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ: Είναι μια ιδέα που είναι κάτι παραπάνω από παράλογη. Ποτέ δεν απαντούσαμε σε αυτές τις προτάσεις των ΜΜΕ, διότι δεν τις αντιμετωπίζουμε σοβαρά. Αλλά και διότι ο ελληνικός λαός πραγματικά περνά από μια πάρα πολύ δύσκολη περίοδο. Πρέπει να κάνουμε πάρα πολλές θυσίες. Όμως παρόλα αυτά ξεκίνησε τη μάχη για το μέλλον της Ελλάδας. Οι Έλληνες χρειάζονται σήμερα εκφράσεις αναγνώρισης γι` αυτό που κάνουν. Και αλληλεγγύη. Και σίγουρα όχι τόσο ανόητες προτάσεις, όπως η πώληση της Ακρόπολης.

ΔΗΜΟΣΙΟΓΡΑΦΟΣ: Μπορούμε λοιπόν να πούμε ήδη ότι η Ελλάδα βγαίνει στην ευθεία και η κρίση οδεύει προς το τέλος;

ΥΠΟΥΡΓΟΣ: Πράξαμε πολλά, αλλά μας αναμένει ακόμη πολλή εργασία. Είμαστε έτοιμοι – και η κυβέρνηση και ο λαός, αν και η αποδοχή όλων των περικοπών και των αλλαγών δεν είναι εύκολη, διότι αυτές χωρίς εξαίρεση θίγουν τον κάθε πολίτη της Ελλάδας. Η πλειοψηφία των Ελλήνων γνωρίζει όμως ότι αυτές οι αλλαγές είναι αναγκαίες και τις στηρίζει. Πρέπει να θυμόμαστε ότι αποφύγαμε το χειρότερο σενάριο, δηλαδή την πτώχευση. Σήμερα είναι σημαντικό ότι οι Έλληνες βλέπουν φως στο τούνελ και αυτό το φως είναι ευδιάκριτο. Γνωρίζουμε ότι εάν συνεχίσουμε να ακολουθούμε αυτόν τον δρόμο μας αναμένει ένα φωτεινό μέλλον. Continue reading

OSCE Ministerial Council in Athens

» Papoulias Inaugurates OSCE Meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) President of the Hellenic Republic Karolos Papoulias inaugurated yesterday the 17th Ministerial Council of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), taking place in Athens (1-2/12).
Papoulias welcomed delegates from the OSCE’ s 56 member states and described the international meeting as “an important political event and an opportunity to strengthen peaceful cooperation and promote the common goals of the member states, in order to reach tangible and substantive conclusions.”

» Papandreou’ s Address

The Corfu Process needs to be taken a step further in order to meet the challenges to European security in the 21st century, OSCE chairman-in-office, Greece’s Prime minister and Foreign minister George Papandreou stressed, addressing the first plenary session of the organisation’s 17th ministerial council.
“We have to agree on important decisions in the next two days to strengthen co-operative security across the OSCE area, to shape the work of our organization, and to create a strong foundation for Kazakhstan to build upon as it assumes the OSCE Chairmanship on January 1,” Papandreou said.
He also expressed his hope that a constructive spirit will prevail during the two-day deliberations of the meeting.
Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Speech of the OSCE Chairman-in-Office, Prime Minister and Foreign Minister of Greece Papandreou, to the 1st Plenary session of the 17th OSCE Ministerial Council
See also Project Syndicate: Renewing Europe’s Security Dialogue by George Papandreou

» Sideline Meetings

On the sidelines of the OSCE ministerial council, Papandreou met with the foreign ministers of Finland, Alexander Stubb and Kazakhstan, Kanat Saudabayev, who together form the current OSCE “troika.”
Alternate foreign minister Dimitris Droutsas had a meeting with FYROM’s FM Antonio Milososki while the premier is scheduled to meet today with the foreign ministers of Russia and Turkey, Sergei Lavrov and Ahmet Davutoglou respectively.
At the end of the first day of meetings, the Greek OSCE chairmanship hosted a formal reception for the visiting diplomatic delegations at the Acropolis Museum.

Prespes Lake Preservation Agreement

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The prime ministers of Greece, Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and Albania, on November 27, sent a joint letter to the UN Secretary General, the European Union and the Danish prime minister regarding the environmental protection of the Prespes Lake region shared by all three countries.
After the tripartite informal meeting in a lake-side village on the Greek side, Greek premier George Papandreou told reporters that the three leaders agreed to sign an agreement – in early February 2010 – to enhance the environmental protection of the Prespes Lake region.
They also promised to promote bilateral and multilateral cooperation in water management and take measures to tackle pollution and soil erosion. 
Papandreou also discussed with his FYROM counterpart, Nikola Gruevski, investment projects, the possibility of abolishing visas for FYROM nationals, as well as the “name issue,” for which the Greek premier said that new impetus should be given to the ongoing talks for its resolution.
With his Albanian counterpart, Sali Berisha, the Greek premier discussed economic relations, and minority and immigration issues. 
UNESCO World Heritage: The area of the Prespes Lakes 
Greek News Agenda: Meeting @ Prespes

Greece at the EU Negotiations

» ‘Lisbon’ & ‘Copenhagen’ in EU Spotlight

Prime Minister George Greek Prime Minister Papandreou (first from the left) participates in the two-day meeting

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) The meeting of heads of state and government in the European Council began yesterday and concludes today (October 29-30). Prime Minister George Papandreou (first from the left) participates in the two-day meeting, the agenda of which is dominated by deliberations on climate change ahead of the Copenhagen meeting, and the European Union’s institutional future under the new Treaty of Lisbon.

» Breaking the Ice

Yesterday, on the sidelines of the EU Council, Papandreou held a 20-minute informal meeting with Nikola Gruevski, the Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.Papandreou reiterated his personal initiative to promote the Western Balkan states’ accession to the European Union by 2014, stressing that a mutually accepted name erga omnes is a prerequisite for Greece in the case of FYROM.

» Socialist Call for Green Growth

Addressing a meeting of the EU Socialist Prime Ministers -Party of European Socialists (PES)- ahead of the European Council Meeting, Papandreou spoke of the need for EU Socialist Parties to push through changes that would put the citizen first and secure that the Copenhagen meeting’s resolution consolidates green growth.

EU’s Enlargement Strategy

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The European Commission (EC) adopted its annual strategy on European Enlargement yesterday (October 14).  Commissioner for Enlargement Olli Rehn urged Skopje to settle the name issue with Greece, after announcing that FYROM now “meets” the criteria for opening accession negotiations.   Rehn added that he viewed the launch of talks with FYROM as “a very strong encouragement” in this direction and expressed his hope that “the government in Skopje gets this message as well.”  Regarding Turkey’s accession, Rehn revealed EC’s dissatisfaction with its progress and called on Turkey’s obligation, as an aspiring EU member state, to open its air and ports to Cyprus.  Turkey must contribute to the resolution of the Cyprus issue with “concrete terms,” during negotiations, he added.

Commenting on the EU’s progress reports, Alternate Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas stressed that Greece is promoting the accession course for all Southeast Europe countries, by already having put forward a roadmap until 2014.  “The prerequisite for this course is that all the countries should […] fulfil the necessary criteria. With regard to FYROM, in particular, this means finding a solution on the name issue” said Droutsas.  Kathimerini Daily: EU nod for FYROM despite name   Greek News Agenda: SEECP Meeting- A roadmap for accession

FYROM Name Issue

» Athens dismisses latest quip for ‘double-name’ solution

Bacoyannis(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis dismissed yesterday (July 21), statements made by the prime minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Nikola Gruevski that Skopje’s ‘natural position’ is a “double-name formula” to overcome the thorny name issue.”   This statement shows that Mr. Gruevski has not realised the message of the international community, which is clear and unanimous: for the sake of his country’s and his people’s Euro-Atlantic course, a mutually acceptable solution to this issue must be achieved; a composite name with a geographical qualifier, erga omnes,” the FM underlined in a press release.  Greek News Agenda: Greece has a strong case on the name issue

Greece has a Strong Case on the Name Issue

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   The Ministry of Foreign Affairs was briefed yesterday on Foreign Yugoslav’s Republic of Macedonia’s decision to lodge an appeal with the International Court of Justice in The Hague, claiming that Greece violated the 1995 bilateral interim accord during last year’s NATO Bucharest summit.

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stressed that Greece has a strong case, which will support before the Court, putting forward its arguments by January 2010.  “It will be a long process but Greece has strong defense arguments, which will prove that the real problem lies in Skopje‘s intransigence”. She further called on Skopje to enter the name negotiations in good faith in order to fund a mutually acceptable name. 

Discussions over the Name Issue Continue

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  The UN secretary general’s personal envoy on the FYROM name issue Matthew Nimetz said yesterday (June 8) that he was “more optimistic” for a solution to the name issue, but rejected any timetable, following a 90-minute meeting in Athens with foreign minister Dora Bakoyannis.Nimetz, who arrived in Athens on Tuesday night after talks in the FYROM capital of Skopje, told reporters after the meeting with Bakoyannis that he had brought ideas that comprise “minor” changes to the proposals he had submitted in October, which included the name “Republic of Northern Macedonia”. “I had an excellent discussion with the foreign minister, I conveyed the discussions I had in Skopje (on Tuesday with the FYROM president and prime minister), I briefed her, and I was briefed, on the views of the two sides,” Nimetz said, adding that there was encouragement for continuation of the negotiations and “I believe that I will continue my work even better”. Greek News Agenda: “The Name issue is the only Issue”

Shcolars on Ancient Macedonia

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)   More than 200 of the most prestigious academics, including widely read authors on ancient Greece and Alexander like Paul Cartledge, Steven H. Rutledge and Robin Lane Fox, have sent a letter to U.S. President Barack Obama asking him to intervene to “clean up the historical debris” left by the previous U.S. administration’s policy on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).  As it is noted in the letter, the recognition of the “Republic of Macedonia” in 2004, not only abrogated geographic and historic fact but has also unleashed a dangerous epidemic of historical revisionism.  According to those signing the letter – which has been posted on the website Macedonia Evidence – Skopje’s claims to a Macedonian descent of its Slavic population and its “misappropriation” of Alexander the Great as the country’s national hero are a “subversion of history”.  Stephen G. Miller, Professor Emeritus of Classical Archaeology at the University of California, Berkeley  begun the initiative of collecting signatures and the undersigns include historians and Classicists teaching at the most renowned universities in the world,  like Oxford, Cambridge, Princeton, Stanford, Vassar, College de France etc.  Politics and Current Affairs: Scholars dismiss Skopje claims as ‘silliness’ in letter to Obama

Greek President Papoulias Meets Romanian Counterpart

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias met on Wednesday with his Romanian counterpart Traian Basescu, who is on a state visit to Greece. The two leaders discussed matters of bilateral well as of particular Balkan interest, confirming there is common ground regarding the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries, provided that “good neighbour” policies are enshrined in the actions of the aspiring members.  The Romanian president made clear that this principle applies to all countries wishing to join the EU, including FYROM and Turkey. Regarding the latter and its relations to Cyprus, Basescu was pronounced in favour of EU’s “code of conduct,” stressing that is thus unacceptable that Turkey continues to occupy a section of an EU member country and that Nicosia continues to be a divided European capital.

Thessaloniki: New exhibition at the White Tower, the Monument-Symbol

(GRECEHEBDO)  A new permanent exhibition at the White Tower dedicated to the city of Thessaloniki and housed in the monument-symbol of the city, opened its doors to the public on September 9th, 2008. The exhibition, organized by the Museum of Byzantine Culture, presents aspects of the history of Thessaloniki through time, thus providing the visitors with a better insight of the city, its monuments and museums. http://www.mbp.gr/html/en/pirgos.htm   The goal of the exhibition is not to turn the city into a museum, but to introduce it to its visitors and its citizens, creating a new and essential relationship between the people and the city. Through the presentation of features that characterize Thessaloniki through time, such as the city’s urban character, the exhibition focuses on important moments and aspects of the city’s life. The thematic displays of the ground floor, as well as of the six storeys of the White Tower, refer to the geographical position of Thessaloniki at the crossroad of sea and land trading roads, the transformations of its urban development, the important moments of its history -as presented through its monuments-, the city’s spiritual and cultural life, as well as its inhabitants and culinary world. As a result, the visitors shall have the chance to experience an intriguing trip in time from the day of the founding of Thessaloniki to its recent past, accompanied with the sounds, the special atmosphere, the spirit and the tastes of the city.

Greece’s Relations with Serbia

Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis met her Serbian counterpart Vuk Jeremic in Athens on Thursday for talks ahead of the 63rd session of the UN General Assembly. As expected, issues topping the ministers’ agenda included the major challenges facing the Balkan region, such as the status of Kosovo and Serbia’s Euro-Atlantic course.  Outlining Greece’s positions with respect to Serbia, Bakoyannis said Athens was “proceeding with exceedingly cautious steps and would continue in this way.”  On Kosovo, in particular, she emphasised the need to improve the quality of daily life in the region, especially for minorities, and regardless of the governing regime. The European Union Rule of Law Mission – EULEX– was an important factor in this direction, she added.  Regarding Serbia’s relations with the European Union, the minister said Greece was playing a key role in speeding up the strengthening of EU-Serbia ties, while she expressed satisfaction with the cooperation between Belgrade and the International War Tribunal, noting that the latest developments opened the way for greater rapprochement with the EU. “The next step will be for Serbia to apply for accession to the EU,” she noted, adding that Belgrade would have Greece’s full support for this step.  Bakoyannis also referred to the very good bilateral relations between Greece and Serbia, especially in the area of developmental cooperation. She said Greece had so far disbursed €235 million from an overall budget of €550 million under the Hellenic Plan for the Economic Reconstruction of the Balkans, with priority given to completing Pan-European (roadway) Corridor X linking Thessaloniki with Belgrade and central Europe. Athens News Agency: Serbian FM in Athens; Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statements of FM Bakoyannis and her Serbian counterpart, Vuk Jeremic, following their meeting 

From Greece the Routes of the Olive Tree

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    On the occasion of the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games, a “lame of Peace”will travel from the Mediterranean Sea into the depths of Asia, Beijing and Moscow. Motorcyclists participating in the “Routes of the Olive Tree” initiative, a programme of cultural journeys and activities inspired by the olive tree,  will ride on the “Routes of Silk” to transmit the messages symbolised by the olive tree, namely the need for peaceful coexistence. The journey will start from Messenia, Southern Greece, on the occasion of a big Mediterranean Feast, the 63rd Rally FIM of 2008 (7-14 July 2008 Pylos-Yalova), during which 2,000 motorcyclists from 44 countries will gather in order to bid travellers goodbye. The event is open only to motorcyclists who will “combine business with pleasure”; they will start their ride symbolically from ancient Messene and will cover 22,000 km with a view to carrying the “Flame of Peace” to 16 countries: Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, CHINA, Mongolia, Russia, Ukraine, Moldavia, Romania, Bulgaria, FYROM and Greece.  Continue reading

Greece: Karamanlis’ Balkan Vision

Addressing the summit meeting of the Southeast European Cooperation Process (SEECP), Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis stated that he was in favour of the incorporation of all SEECP members into the Euroatlantic structures, including the Former Republic of Macedonia. Within the framework of the SEECP process – an institution destined to enhance cooperation between Southeast European members – Karamanlis clarified that Greece seeks a win-win solution that would accommodate the demands of both countries and would benefit the entire region.   Continue reading

The NATO Summit: Aftermath

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA) Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis briefed President of the Republic Karolos Papoulias today on the outcome of last week’s NATO Summit in Bucharest in which Greece, backed by other countries, did not consent to extend an invitation to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia to start accession negotiations for eventually joining the Alliance, pending the name issue. Greece’s conditional position was reflected in the Summit Declaration issued by NATO. “I believe that conditions will be soon be ripe to resume negotiations under the auspices of UN in order to find a mutually acceptable solution” the premier said in a friendly message to FYROM’s people and political leaders. Continue reading

NATO Summit: A Friendly Message to Neighbours

GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    Greece invited the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) last night to return to the negotiating table and settle once and for all the long standing dispute on the name issue between the two countries, after NATO postponed extending an invitation to FYROM to begin accession talks to join the Alliance until the issue of the name is resolved. “We agreed that an invitation to FYROM will be extended as soon as a mutually accepted solution to the name issue has been reached. We encourage the negotiations to be resumed without delay and expect them to be concluded as soon as possible,” the Bucharest Summit Declaration says.   Continue reading

New Round on Name Issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)    A new reiterated in Brussels round of UN-sponsored talks between Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) on the latter’s “name issue” begins in Vienna today. Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis has has Greece’s position regarding the issue saying that a composite name for the land-locked republic containing a geographic marker could put an end to a nagging problem that has had a negative impact on regional stability and cooperation. Continue reading

The Name Issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on NATO’s Agenda

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  “Nobody likes vetoes,” but “the intransigence and nationalism on behalf of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), which is interwoven with the name issue, does not allow us to take the same positive stance as in the case of Croatia and Albania,”  Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis stated, addressing the informal meeting of NATO Foreign Ministers in Brussels, yesterday. The meeting agenda focused mainly on the enlargement of the Alliance and in particular, on the candidateship of Croatia, Albania and FYROM, paving the way for the NATO Bucharest Summit, on April 2-3. Placing emphasis on the importance of unanimity, NATO Secretary General Jaap de Hoop Scheffer made clear that “NATO’s door is open” but “there’s an ally, Greece and a non-ally; FYROM….NATO works by consensus.” Bakoyannis was prompt to announce that “there is still time for an applicable solution,” therefore, Greece will “continue to work to this end in a constructive spirit,” and within the framework of the UN Special Mediator Matthew Nimetz’s efforts. Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Statements of FM Dora Bakoyannis following the informal meeting of NATO Foreign Minister; Greece and NATO;  Athens News Agency: Greece Refuses FYROM’s NATO Accession Bid; NATO: Main topics discussed at the informal meeting

Name Issue of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)

(GREEK NEWS AGENDA)  Referring to to the neighbouring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) and the possibility of failure to resolve the thorny “name issue“, Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis warned on Friday that “no solution means no invitation”. This would mean that should the issue not be resolved, FYROM is not to receive an invitation for membership in NATO and the EU, where Greece is a veto-wielding member. 
“Without a mutually acceptable solution, there can be no relations like allies; there can be no invitation to the neighbouring country for participation in the same alliance,” Karamanlis stated in Parliament.
UN mediator Matthew Nimetz is expected to invite both parties for a new round of talks, soon. Continue reading