ND shadow FM Koumoutsakos on Tsipras-Zaev statements in Davos

Main opposition New Democracy (ND) shadow foreign minister George Koumoutsakos on Thursday made the following three points regarding the joint statements made by Greek Prime Minster Alexis Tsipras and his FYROM couterpart Zoran Zaev in Davos on Wednesday:

1. Tsipras had made no clear reference to the need to change the neighbouring country’s constitution, which was the only real guarantee for ensuring the end of every expression of irredentism on the part of Skopje.

2. The renaming of Skopje airport and FYROM highways announced by Zaev was something that can easily be revoked in the future or by another government in Skopje. Moreover, this Skopje’s obligation under Article 7 of the Interim Accord of 1995.

On the contrary, Greece was giving something definitive that cannot be revoked in return. Namely, its support for FYROM’s candidacy for the Adriatic-Ionian Initiative and the ratification of the second phase of the Skopje association agreement with the EU in the Greek Parliament.

3. ND is especially concerned that the negotiation appears to be adopting a logic of “separating” the issues, whereas it has been Greece’s longstanding position that a solution to the name issue for use erga omnes and the abolition of irredentism are a single and indivisible whole, which together form the condition for allowing the process of NATO’s invitation to FYROM and the launch of processes for its EU accession to proceed.

Koumoutsakos urged the government to respond clearly to these first three questions and added that ND will carry out a new assessment of the situation “as and when we know all that has been agreed at this stage.”