Tsipras to Archbishop: Government will pursue national interests in FYROM name talks

Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras told the Archbishop of Athens and All Greece, Ieronymos II, that the government will pursue Greece’s national interests in its name dispute with the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYROM).

He was responding to the Standing Holy Synod on Wednesday which said in a press release on Wednesday that the Church “will not accept” the use of the name “Macedonia” as part of a solution to the name issue.

“On the issue of our relations with FYROM, allow me to assure you that my government is determined to handle it with a sense of national responsibility, firm defense of national interests, and by pursuing relations of peace, cooperation and friendship with all peoples of the region,” he said in a letter to the Archbishop.

Tsipras said the government will take into account the concerns of the Church and called for national unity.

“I believe you will agree with the view that, on national issues, we need wide national unity. And national unity is based on prudence, dialogue, respect for different views, but also distinct roles. It is undermined by cries, manifestations of intolerance and extreme reactions which, in the name of the nation, have led to national defeats in the past,” he added.