Greek PM faces do­mes­tic back­lash over Macedonia name deal

Daily Messenger - - International -

ATHENS: Greek Prime Min­is­ter Alexis Tsipras was ac­cused on Wed­nes­day of sur­ren­der­ing part of his na­tion’s iden­tity, as a deal he struck to set­tle a name dis­pute with Macedonia prompted a bar­rage of crit­i­cism from op­po­si­tion politicians and me­dia.

Un­der agree­ment an­nounced by Athens and Skopje on Tues­day, the Balkan state known as Former Yu­goslav Repub­lic of Macedonia” would hence- forth be called the “Repub­lic of North­ern Macedonia”.

The ac­cord would open the way for the small na­tion’s even­tual mem­ber­ship of the Euro­pean Union and NATO, cur­rently blocked by Greece’s ob­jec­tions to its cur­rent name.

But con­ser­va­tive op­po­si­tion leader Kyr­i­akos Mit­so­takis called it “deeply prob­lem­atic”, be­cause the ma­jor­ity of Greeks were against it and Tsipras lacked the po­lit­i­cal le­git­i­macy to sign it. “We are in a sit­u­a­tion that is un­prece­dented in Greece’s con­sti­tu­tional his­tory. Aprime min­is­ter with­out a clear par­lia­men­tary man­date will­ing to com­mit the coun­try to a re­al­ity which will not be pos­si­ble to change,” Mit­so­takis said.

The ac­cord re­quires rat­i­fi­ca­tion by both coun­tries’ par­lia­ments, and the ju­nior part­ner in Greece’s coali­tion, the right wing In­de­pen­dent Greeks party, has said it does not back any deal that gives away the name Macedonia.

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