A road path for a solution for the “Macedonian” name issue

This year will most probably bring interesting developments, regarding the strife betweeen Greece and the Former Yugoslavic Republic of Macedonia, as far as the finalized and univerally name of the latter is concerned.

Last year European Union member states decided to proceed with the begining  of accession negotiations with FYROM -In due term-, and it is assumed that the final integration will not become a reality before 2012, the earliest. The above important decision was addressed by the EU, with the dictum that an acceptable compromize must be found between Athens and Skopje until the negotiations reach the final stage. The current FYROM goverment won the elections last year and has as a strategic vision to integrate the country into the Euro-Atlantic security framework, namely EU & NATO.

Thus the name issue becomes of paramount importance for the country, in order to achieve its ambitions. Greece has already stated through  its Heads of state that it will not recognize the country with the name “Macedonia” and it will veto any accession toeither NATO or the EU. On the other hand during the ongoing negotiations , Greece might be willling to adopt a more flexible position by allowing a “dual or multiple name” that will include Macedonia. Examples include: Novo Macedonia, Vardaska-Macedonjie, or Republic of Slavic Macedonia.

Judging by the state of affairs in Skopje that tries to balance the Albanian irreditism, EU ambitions and economic reconstruction; the aforementioned could become acceptable. It is important to not that USA has in various occassions pressed FYROM-The past few months- in adopting a stance of compromize over the name issue, so as to secure its place in NATO. 

In any other case, the acceptance of Albania in NATO before FYROM, would be a heavy blow for the latter and will provide social instability to the already fragile societal structure.

Furthermore, the negotiations for the Kosovo status, have as a side-effect the re-emerge of a militant Albanian nationalistic posture, that causes more strains in Skopje, far more than any other state in the Balkans, bar Serbia for obvious reasons.

Greece now, seems reluctant to recognize FYROM as Macedonia for reasons ranging fro geopolitical considerations, historical-cultural heritage and diplomatic prestige. It is actually an issue that can be considered as a macro-historical one, that surely will not be resolved with Athens being the political unit to compromize.

Should Greece and FYROM find a suitable solution, then these two states, along with Serbia, Rumania and Bulgaria would form a regional stability entente that first and foremost, will boost FYROM’s cohesion.  In addition various difficulties and technicalities regarding investments between Greee & FYROM will be resolved and the economy of the latter will surely accelerate.

On overall compromize between the two states is on their long -term interest. This view is just a “prediction” based on monitor of the situation and does not address issues such as nationalistic sentiment or pressure from various “Informal interests”.

Predictions are always unpredictable! Given though the geostrategic aims of both countries , it is more than certain that 2007 will be the year that another Balkan friction becomes a historical reference.

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