PM on FYROM name issue: If there is an opportunity for solution it would be a national foolishness not to take advantage of it,

If there is an opportunity a solution to be found it would be a national foolishness not to take advantage of it, said Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras stating his clear position on the FYROM name issue in an interview with the Sunday edition of Ethnos newspaper.

The Greek prime minister reassured that he respects the concern and particularly the sensitive chords of his compatriots in northern Greece. “I am half Macedon myself” he said.

“However, I urge them to calmly consider what promotes the national interest and what undermines it. The non-solution undermines it. For the last 25 years our neighbours are recognised as “Republic of Macedonia” by a number of countries while we are struggling everywhere to call them FYROM. A compound name in which the term “Macedonia” is included without any designation that excludes ownership of the geographic position and history. So, if there is an opportunity for solution that will reverse these negative facts then it would be a national foolishness not to take advantage of it” underlined Tsipras.

“In practice, it is not irrational the term “Macedonia” to exist in a compound name either with geographic or with time designation for everyone which will make totally clear that nobody claims territory or other people’s history” said Tsipras.

Referring to Independent Greeks (ANEL) leader Panos Kammenos (who participates in SYRIZA government), Tsipras recognised that “Kammenos is aware of the problem and is an honest man and a patriot politician. He has reservations and has expressed them at the government’s council, but he has stated his confidence in the efforts of Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and his wish for broad consensus of the political forces on the issue, if a satisfactory agreement is reached”.