Tzanakopoulos: FYROM name dispute could be resolved by summer

The dispute over the name of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (fYROM) that has dragged on for more than two decades could be resolved by summer, when NATO is expected to hold its meeting, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos said in an interview with state broadcaster ERT on Saturday.

“By the summer, when NATO is expected to meet, we could come up with a commonly accepted solution,” he was quoted as saying.

Echoing Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras’ recent statements on the issue, he said it is “a window of opportunity” which could lead to the solution of a problem that is pending for 25 years. Tzanakopoulos said the neighbouring country has backed down on a number of issues and refuted extreme statements, and called on all political forces in Greece to show responsibility and avoid short-sighted views.

“Resolving the issue will have a positive effect for the entire Balkan region,” he said. “We have an obligation and a duty to utilize the moment.”

Asked what is Greece’s position in the negotiations, Tzanakopulos said it is the proposal made by the former Costas Karamanlis government (2007-2008) in Bucharest.