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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

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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

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