Greek FM Kotzias Describes Greece and Macedonia as Friends

The reactions to the latest developments related to the name issue in Greece continued in Greece. Greek FM Nikos Kotzias considers that a deal without compromise is reached only in a time of war. “We are not at war with the neighbouring country. We are friends. The ones that are now protesting in Greece are the ones that welcome the neighbours as clients and customers. Then, they have no problem with them,” he said in an interview with a Greek radio station. Asked to comment on Zoran Zaev’s use of the phrase “Macedonians and Greeks”, he said the northern neighbour’s PM had self-identified himself according to the geographic area. As Kotzias explained, Greece had aimed at three things when it comes to the deal: a change of the name so that there is a distinction between the Greek Macedonia, an erga omnes use and constitutional changes. According to Greek President Prokopis Pavlopoulos, a solution to the name issue that will not spread irredentism and a constitutional revision are the preconditions for the Skopje’s progress towards the EU and NATO. He reiterated his stands at the meeting with his counterpart from India, Ram Nath Kovind. In the meantime, Golden Dawn MP Konstantinos Barbarousis, who called for a military coup during the debate on the no-confidence motion brought against the Alexis Tsipras-led government by the opposition over the name deal, was arrested in a flat in the northern part of Athens.

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