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Sunday, January 21, 2018, 

High level of communication between Skopje and Athens: paper

High level of communication between Skopje and Athens: paper

Athens, 2 January 2018 (MIA) - Political developments in Greece, Athens' expectations from Skopje, possible solutions, international pressure, the limited time for a solution, but also the excellent communication between Macedonia and Greece over the past six months is in the focus of Greek daily Kathimerini on Tuesday, MIA reports from Athens.

Text titled "Difficult Steps to a Solution of the Macedonian Issue" reads that latest misunderstandings between the ruling and opposition parties in Greece have surfaced the difficulties that need to be overcome in Greece in order to reach a name compromise.

"International pressure is expected to rise, primarily from the Americans but also the Europeans (especially the Germans), to unblock the Euro-Atlantic perspective of Skopje and the other Western Balkan countries, which are exposed to the risk of destablization or Russian influence," reads Kathimerini.

Regarding bilateral relations, the paper comments that the communication level between Athens and Skopje has been high, direct and at multiple levels over the past six months. It sees good will in Zaev's rhetoric, but also expects concrete and practical steps, such as a change of the name of the Skopje airport or the motorway, thus rejecting irrententism in practice.

"In reality, these moves, are relatively easy for Zaev's government from a political viewpoint", adds Kathimerini.

Pertaining to a possible solution, the newspaper says the name would include a qualifier alongside term Macedonia, but it is still unknown if this would be 'New Macedonia', 'Northern Macedonia', 'Upper Macedonia', or "another solution that UN special envoy Nimetz will take out of his hat."

Kathimerini says that a possible solution would be subject to a referendum, adding that the Macedonian PM will need to maintain his current allies in order to receive approval, in a period "when the nationalist VMRO is still recovering from the fall."

"The time for the row's settlement is limited by the fact that both countries will enter election cycles after the summer period. Elections, at least the regular ones, are scheduled in 2019, both in Athens and Skopje", underlines Kathimerini. ik/11:03

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