ND’s Koumoutsakos charges FM with “undermining national positions” on FYROM name issue

Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias “appears to be accepting, even if indirectly, Skopje’s claims that Greece ostensibly has irredentist aims against the neighbouring country,” New Democracy’s (ND) shadow foreign minister George Koumoutsakos charged on Thursday.

The main opposition party’s deputy was referring to recent comments by FYROM Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, who had said after a meeting with Kotzias in Ohrid on Thursday that they had “almost agreed on the text for a future collaboration in various sectors, including the deterrence of irredentism by both sides.”

Koumoutsakos commented, “The logic of reciprocity or of equating Greece and Skopje on the issue of irredentism undermines our firm national positions and is unacceptable.” He called on the Foreign Ministry to reveal what it has discussed and what it has agreed to with FYROM.

Responding, Foreign Ministry sources charged ND with trying to undermine efforts to resolve national issues, and of attributing third countries’ opinions to the government. The issue of irredentism has been clearly conveyed as early as March 2015 by Kotzias, who has said that an acceptable solution must deal with the issue effectively, the sources said.

They also pointed out that this government’s efforts have led to a change in name of FYROM’s international airport and the highway linking Skopje to the Greek borders, something ND could not bring about during its rule.