2018 will bring an opportunity to resolve the FYROM name issue, gov’t spokesman says

State Minister and government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in an interview to radio Alpha of Kavala on Thursday that “a window is opening towards the solution of the FYROM name issue in 2018, a problem we inherited from New Democracy’s governments”.

Asked on the stance of the ruling coalition’s junior member, Independent Greeks (ANEL), on the specific issue, Tzanakopoulos underlined that the Greek government has internal procedures and reiterated that laws have been voted which define the government’s stance on the major issues. He however clarified that the government and its bodies will present its positions to the other parties and discuss them in order to arrive at an acceptable solution.

“We want to build a wider consensus in parliament”, said the minister, adding that “what we agree with our neighbours should be approved by Parliament.”

On the Greek economy and the “clean return” to the markets, he said that this expression can be interpreted in various ways and noted that for the government it means that from August 2018 the country will be able to refund its needs from the markets and not from the ESM, which calls for new reforms and fiscal adjustment. “If there is no such need (to borrow from ESM) we can safely say that the memoranda are finished,” he stated.

On the measures in 2019 and 2020 he reiterated that the conclusion of the third review is a prerequisite. “After that, everything depends on the course of the Greek economy,” and did not exclude the possibility of renegotiation for some of the measures.