Athens.- The government of Poland publicized its decision to use FYROM’s Constitutional name, the Republic of Macedonia, in its bilateral contacts with Skopje. However, in a discussion with FYROM’s Embassy in Warsaw it made clear that it will continue using the name FYROM in an international context.
Athens on Saturday again reminded of the European Union’s position, adopted last September, requesting a mutually acceptable solution for the “name issue” still plaguing relations between EU member-state Greece and its northern land-locked neighbor, the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).
The statement, by foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos, comes after a decision by the Polish government to use the name “Macedonia” in bilateral Polish-FYROM communication.
“Only such a (mutually acceptable) solution will facilitate FYROM’s course towards achieving its desire to advance towards and join Euro-Atlantic institutions,” he added.
The foreign ministry noted that the practice of using the one-time Yugoslav Republic’s constitutional name in bilateral ties, but using FYROM in multinational fora and international relations, is being employed by other European countries as well.
Although Athens and Skopje have achieved remarkable progress in bilateral relations, especially in trade and investments, since signing a UN-mediated “interim agreement” 10 years ago, the “name issue” continues to block the full normalisation of ties.
Athens strenuously opposes FYROM’s use of the name “Macedonia”, citing historical and political reasons. Moreover, Greece’s largest province, which shares borders with FYROM, is called Macedonia, the same geographical region that more-or-less corresponds with the ancient kingdom of Macedonia.