The EU should be proactive in solving the notorious dispute between Greece and Macedonia over the latter’s name, according to Czech President Vaclav Klaus.
Klaus welcomed in Prague on Tuesday Macedonian President George Ivanov making it clear he can understand Macedonia’s effort to enter the EU and he does not like Greece blocking it.
The notorious “name dispute” is based on Greek concerns with Macedonia’s constitutional name (“Republic of Macedonia”) because much of Northern Greece is called “Macedonia” as an administrative district. Therefore, recognizing the same name for its neighbor could legitimize potential territorial claims by Skopje.
Because of the name dispute, Greece has so far vetoed Macedonia’s accession to NATO, and blockaded the start of EU accession talks with Macedonia. Because of the Greek position the Republic of Macedonia was admitted to the UN under the made-up name of “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).”
Macedonian President Ivanov has declared in turn that Macedonia fulfills the EU entry conditions but it cannot make progress in the accession talks over Greece´s blockade.