Name is­sue not im­ped­ing EU en­try, claims min­is­ter

Kathimerini English - - Front Page -

Greece is not stand­ing in the way of the For­mer Yu­goslav Repub­lic of Mace­do­nia (FYROM) join­ing the Euro­pean Union be­cause of the two coun­tries’ name dis­pute, For­eign Min­is­ter Evan­ge­los Venize­los said in Par­lia­ment yes­ter­day. The deputy prime min­is­ter in­sisted that FYROM’s mem­ber­ship de­pended on it mak­ing “clear steps” to­ward meet­ing the con­di­tions set out by the EU, also known as Copen­hagen cri­te­ria. Th­ese re­quire a state to have a func­tion­ing mar­ket econ­omy and in­sti­tu­tions that safe­guard hu­man rights and demo­cratic gov­er­nance. “Greece is not rais­ing any ob­jec­tions to FYROM’s ac­ces­sion to the EU or NATO be­cause of the name is­sue or be­cause we want to im­pose a change,” said Venize­los, when In­de­pen­dent Greeks leader Panos Kam­menos ac­cused the gov­ern­ment of hav­ing ac­cepted that the neigh­bor­ing coun­try will be called North­ern Mace­do­nia. Venize­los re­jected the op­po­si­tion leader’s calls for Greece to hold a ref­er­en­dum on the is­sue or for an ap­peal to be made to the In­ter­na­tional Court of Jus­tice at The Hague.

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