‘Use of the name by the neighbouring country indicates irredentism,’ ANEL spokesperson says

“The Independents Greeks (ANEL) movement has the most clear-cut position of all the political parties at present on the Skopje issue: We say ‘no’ to the name ‘Macedonia’ or a derivative of this name for Skopje,” said ANEL spokesperson Madalena Papadopoulou on Wednesday, talking to the television station Action 24.

She said that ANEL’s argument was based on the fact that the “term ‘Macedonia'” is not a meaningless word but indicates an “identity for the Skopjans.”

“The name contains the irredentism. The use of the name by the neighbouring country is indicative of irredentism. What if they change the Constitution, the books, the maps and all the things that generations of people in the neighbouring country grew up with? The name indicates identity. If we do not accept the identity, we do not accept the name,” she said.

Compared to ANEL, Papadopoulou asserted, the positions of the other political parties were “opportunist” and had shifted following the rally on the issue, while main opposition New Democracy “avoided adopting a position because they are split along three lines”.

Asked what result ANEL hopes the negotiation will bring, she replied: “A solution that favours our national interests. We are waiting for the meeting between the Greek prime minister, Mr. Tsipras, with his counterpart in Davos. We await positive results, having confidence in Foreign Minister Kotzias, who in the last two years has brought good results, developing a multi-level and multi-dimensional foreign policy. This is a time when Greece converses both with both the United States and Russia, with Egypt, Israel, whereas before, Mr. Samaras spoke only with Mr. Schaeuble,” she said.

Calling for optimism that the effort will yield a good result in line with Greece’s interests, Papadopoulou said that ANEL believed that a solution was possible but “not any solution and not at the expense of our national interests.”