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Tuesday, January 16, 2018, 

PM Tsipras expects concrete steps from Skopje: Greek daily

PM Tsipras expects concrete steps from Skopje: Greek daily

Athens, 30 December 2017 (MIA) - Steps towards mutually acceptable agreement, to rename the airport in Skopje, and to dislocate the monuments hinting at irredentism, a public statement on accepting a composite name for overall use, are some of the demands of Athens for Skopje aimed at closing the name issue, Real News reported.

The Greek newspaper has published an article in which a seasoned journalist is conveying the expectations of Alexis Tsipras from Macedonia without citing an official statement from the Greek Prime Minister.

"The message to Skopje is to take concrete steps to pave the way for an agreement over the name issue allowing the neighboring country to integrate in NATO first, followed by a membership to the EU... Make steps toward a mutually acceptable agreement," Tsipras tells Skopje, according to the Greek media outlet.

Athens from the Zoran Zaev-led government expects to start making moves in practice, instead of in theory, which will lay a foundation for substantial talks on the name issue, writes Real News.

According to the daily, these steps, i.e. demands from Greece to Macedonia, are concrete referring to renaming of the Skopje airport, dislocating those monuments deemed having irredentistic tendencies, namely the monuments of Alexander the Great and his father Philip II, and securing a clear position from Skopje that it is accepting negotiations for a composite erga omnes name, with the latter being of great importance for Athens.

ципрас

"All the names mentioned before have been put at the negotiating table with UN envoy Matthew Nimetz. Athens has no positive attitude towards the name proposals such as Northern, Upper or New Macedonia, recently mentioned by the Deputy PM, Koco Angjusev. They imply that two or more Macedonias exist. It is worth mentioning that members of the government in Athens positively view the proposal Macedonian Republic of Skopje," the Saturday's edition of Real News reports.

Greece will not embark on substantial talks over the name unless Macedonia makes concrete steps. "Unless Skopje demonstrates sincere approach to reaching compromise, then Tsipras with the help of (FM Nikos) Kotzias seems to be determined to make a step toward settlement in the first half of 2018 ahead of the NATO Summit," Real News writes. ba/14:42

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