Tzanakopoulos: Greek diplomacy will continue to work for solution on FYROM name issue

The government expects good developments soon in the talks with the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) over the name issue, government spokesman Dimitris Tzanakopoulos claimed in an interview to the newspaper “ThessNews” on Saturday.

“As the talks with FYROM progress, it is clear that the authorities in the neighbouring country are become more and more aware of the need to find a solution,” he said. The Greek government’s position was known, he added, as was its will to find a solution, something that would greatly enhance the position of both countries.

“Consequently, the Greek foreign minister and Greek diplomacy will continue to work in this context and we expect good developments soon,” he said.

Commenting on the issue of the two Greek soldiers held in Turkey, Tzanakopoulos said that Turkey was continuing to behave in ways that were completely contrary to the rules of international law and principles of good neighbour relations. “We will continue our efforts [for their release] on all levels and with the support of the entire European family,” he said.

On the domestic front, the spokesman was critical of main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and said that his vision for the country resembled the worst periods of harsh austerity in Greece.

In actual fact, he noted, “the Greece that emerges cleanly and through its own powers from this quagmire will be a country with a strong social state, respect for the rights of working people, decent wages and a production model based on innovation and boosting the country’s comparative advantages, not intensity in the exploitation of working people.”

He accused Mitsotakis of promising to cull staff from welfare state structures and understaff organisations covering standing and ongoing needs, replacing them with an army of underpaid and uninsured workers hired by the private sector, while providing “tax immunity” for the very wealthy and corporate profits.

Tzanakopoulos repeated the government’s intention to run the full course of its four-year term, ruling out early elections as a signal that “political stability is restored” while he also referred to the problems bedevilling Greek football, warning that a “football Grexit” was a possibility if clubs continued to behave and act in ways that were “outside of a framework of respect for the sport, its supporters and legality.”