17122018Headline:

Tzanakopoulos: Gov’t seeking the broadest possible consensus on FYROM name issue

“We are seeking the broadest possible parliamentary and political consensus on a possible solution for the FYROM name issue ” said State Minister and government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos in an interview on Friday with Thessaloniki 94.5 radio. The Greek government guarantees that there will be no solution if the irredentist intentions on our neighbours’ part remain, he added.

Asked about the government’s stance and that of the junior partner in the ruling coalition, the Independent Greeks (ANEL), he explained: “The government’s stance is very clear on the positions it will support in the negotiations with our neighbours. We seek the broadest possible parliamentary and political consensus on a possible solution and on this basis, we will try to resolve a matter that has troubled the country for the last 25 years. ANEL leader and Defence Minister Panos Kammenos has expressed his complete confidence in Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and clarified that he will not be an obstacle in any case, if this broad political consensus that we seek exists”.

Tzanakopoulos noted that the foreign minister and the prime minister have both stated that Greece’s position is a compound name erga omnes that will be applied everywhere, both within and outside FYROM, “which means that there must be a change of the constitutional name in order to find ourselves in the plane of a solution”.

The government spokesman noted that “the government guarantees that there will be a solution only if there is a clear commitment on the part of our neighbours that they will leave behind all irredentist and ultra-nationalist positions that have been used by them in the past, either in the context of the negotiations or in the framework of building a sense of nationhood. These can’t be accepted by the Greek side.”