EU urges Macedonia to take swift action on name row

The EU on Tuesday urged Macedonian government to take swift action to settle the long-standing name dispute with neighboring Greece.

Erwan Fouere, EU’s ambassador to Macedonia, asked Macedonian government to make a quick decision on whether it will take ” Northern Macedonia” as the country’s name.

Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Dimitris Droutsas said Monday that his country is ready to accept the name of “Northern Macedonia” for its northern neighbor to bring the 19-year-long name dispute with Skopje to an end.

“Every initiative is welcomed, as the matter requires an urgent solution. The sooner the solution is found, the better it will be, ” Fouere said.

Greece has been opposed to its northern neighbor using the name of Macedonia, arguing that the name implies territorial claims against its own northern province, also called Macedonia.

In December last year, EU postponed the decision to grant Skopje the much desired date for start of its accession talks due to the unresolved name issue. Macedonia’s bid to join NATO was also thwarted by Greece in 2008 over the same dispute.

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