Macedonia “Name” Solution In Stages Unlikely

Greece has rejected an idea put forward by Macedonian parliamentarian Pavle Trajanov for a three stage solution to the Athens-Skopje name dispute, Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said on Thursday.

“Trajanov’s proposal is probably well intended and I greet it, but judging by the talks that I had with Greece so far, this is completely unacceptable for them and they do not even want to talk about it”, Gruevski noted.

The legislator of the ruling majority, Trajanov proposed that the two countries first reach a compromise for Macedonia’s name for international use. This would prompt Athens, who is member of EU and NATO, to lift the blockades it has imposed for Macedonia’s accession to these organisations, and would put Macedonia on a fast track towards EU membership.

The second phase envisages forming of bilateral committees that would gradually solve each open issue, including the scope of use of the agreed name, a bilateral agreement recognising mutual borders and a deal that would allow both sides to use the term Macedonian.

At the end the UN Security Council would “seal the deal” by voting a resolution that would complement all previous bilateral agreements.

Local media yesterday cited unnamed government sources as saying that the idea was infact the government’s.

Gruevski said the name issue will also be discussed at Friday’s meeting with the NATO chief Anders Fogh Rasmussen in Brussels.

Athens and Skopje are locked in an 18 years-long dispute over the use of the name Macedonia. Athens claims that Skopje’s official name, Republic of Macedonia, implies territorial claims against its own northern province, also called Macedonia.

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