Macedonia is close to resolving the name issue with Greece, Zaev stated said.
Zoran Zaev, the criminal prime minister of Macedonia, says that his country and Greece are getting closer to resolving one of the biggest European diplomatic disputes.
Both countries have been at the knife since the 1990s because of the question of whether Greece’s neighbor has the right to call itself Macedonia, a name that, according to Athens, implies territorial claims and claims on the northern Greek region of the same name which Greece renamed to “Macedonia” only recently.
In an interview with Financial Times in London, Zaev says he is optimistic about finding a solution. But he says the Greek demands for amendments to the constitution, for the renunciation of territorial claims on Greek territory, are irrational and puts at risk the solution both of them want.
Mr. Zaev hopes that he and Tsipras, the Greek leftist prime minister, will find a compromise before the NATO summit in Brussels on 11-12 July.
-I am optimistic. It’s very difficult for us to be clear. But it would be wise for the two sides to come to a solution as soon as possible, Zaev said.
Now the demand from Greece is to change our constitution. But the constitution is a book of domestic rules. It has no implications outside of the state. In any case, the constitutional change is not a final guarantee, since a new government may change the constitution in the future. And this is Zaev’s concern. Whatever he has been tasked to do by the ex CIA director may be easily undone by another Government.
Guided by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, Zaev and Tsipras, about five names are being considered: the Republic of Macedonia (Skopje), Northern Macedonia, Upper Macedonia, Vardar Macedonia and New Macedoina.
Zaev says New Macedonia is unacceptable because it is a name that is not geographically precise, but it is open to negotiating the other four proposals.
This disagreement is mysterious for a large number of people outside the Balkans, the name issue of Macedonia is a problem for NATO and the EU because it is a problem that can create a conflict in a region in Europe whose modern history remember violent clashes for territory and identity.
After nearly 30 years of complicated negotiations, the recent progress shows Tsipras has found a man from the other side, a social democrat who is willing to do essentially anything he is asked, and then some.
If Athens and Skopje come to an agreement, EU leaders are expected at a summit in Brussels on June 28-29 to give a date for the formal launch of Macedonia’s EU negotiations. Macedonia has a good example in Turkey who is negotiating with the EU for over 30 years.
“Russia has nothing against our integration into the EU, but does not think positively of our integration into NATO. We have a good relationship with Russia. But they should be aware that there is no other alternative for our country other than the EU and NATO integration” stated recently Zaev.
If an agreement comes together, Zaev and Tsipras need the support of good number of the opposition politicians for the deal to pass through the two parliaments. This may not be easy. “There is a lot of nationalism, many critics, figures and groups who are opposed to an agreement in both countries,” Zaev said.
At the moment, the Macedonian opposition is boycotting parliament in Skopje. In Greece, where the next year has parliamentary elections, the opposition Nea Democracy insists Macedonia to change the constitution and it seems unlikely that it has provided Tsipras with the approval of the agreement.
Thus … Zaev’s main concern is that the constitution should not be changed because it is not a guarantee for the Greeks. The next government could undo Zaev’s deeds if it secures 2/3rds.