Macedonia-Greece name dispute made no progress because of the Euro crisis

Efforts to resolve the two-decade long name dispute between Macedonia and Greece have been overshadowed by escalating concerns over the Euro crisis.

Gerald Knaus, head of the European Stability Initiative, ESI, a multi-national research and policy institute told Macedonian media that the Euro crisis had distracted attention from the name issue in Greece as well as among European countries that would otherwise like to help.

In a situation when “everybody fears that government in Athens will fall” due to the economic turmoil there “no one will now make pressure on this country” Knaus said.

“At this point there will be no progress” in resolving the dispute, Knaus added.

Greece’s foreign minister Lambrinidis has used his stay in New York to try to persuade other countries that Greece has the strength to overcome the crisis. He said his country won’t abandon the Euro zone because of the downturn.

Yesterday, the long standing “name” dispute was discussed on the sidelines of the ongoing annual UN General Assembly in New York.

The Macedonian Prime Minister, who is present there, met with the UN mediator in the talks aimed at resolving the issue, US diplomat Matthew Nimetz.

Previously, the same day Greek and Macedonian foreign Ministers, Stavros Lambrinidis and Nikola Poposki held a 30-minute conversation on East River.

But except for reiterating both parties’ already well-known stances, nothing substantial is understood to have been put on the table. No new compromise name proposals and initiatives were put forward.

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