The positive reactions by the international community about the agreement on the termination of the 27-year old dispute between Greece and fYROMacedonia, slowly isolate the conservative forces in the two countries that disagree with the Agreement.
The announcement that an agreement was reached between Greece and fYROMacedonia regarding the name dispute, created a euphoric atmosphere among the European parties, heads of government and political parties, all of whom hailed the deal, described the agreement as historic and the two countries’ Prime Ministers were seen as leaders with courage and vision.
The only political party that has not yet -it has been over 48 hours- issued a statement on the deal is the European People’s Party, which is still unknown why it did not react. Although, using a reassuring tone, the EU’s High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini has said that all of the European Parliament’s political groups have reacted positively to the Agreement, there is no official reaction by the EPP.
EPP’s silence can be seen as anything but random, as New Democracy in Greece and VMRO-DPMNE in fYROMacedonian belong to the EPP and are the two parties using the same rhetoric to react to the resolution of the name dispute, which has plagued the two countries’ relations for over 27 years. Obviously, the European People’s Party wants, in its own way, to support its two members, bypassing the need for stability and security in the Balkan region.
The degree of association between the rhetoric of former Prime Minister Antonis Samaras, who belongs to New Democracy, with that of fYROMacedonian President Gjorge Ivanov who comes from the VMRO-DPMNE is also surprising. Both of them use the same arguments, judging the Agreement to be detrimental to their own country, that there is betrayal by governments and that they will do everything to prevent this agreement from being realised.
Antonis Samaras built his political career on extreme patriotism by touching or even surpassing the boundaries of nationalism, many times by overthrowing the government of the father of the current President of New Democracy, Konstantinos Mitsotakis in 1993 due to the name dispute. Meanwhile, he has also trapped Kyriakos Mitsotakis in his own views over the name issue, thus causing friction in the main opposition party.
Gjorge Ivanov was selected as President of the country by Nikola Gruevski as an expression of VMRO-DPMNE’s nationalist policy in order to protect Nikola Gruevski from any persecution on the one hand, and on the other hand to ensure that there is no agreement on the name issue. His nationalist ideas have so far created a lot of problems in the Republic. From the refusal to give Zoran Zaev a mandate to form a government to the bill on the use of the Albanian language as the second official language in the country.
However, the positions of the conservative parties of Greece and fYROMacedonian even isolate them from the international scene. Yesterday, Gjorge Ivanov was accepted neither by the Prime Minister of Bulgaria nor by the Foreign Minister, although he is on a formal visit to the country; an unprecedented stance as far as the international practice is concerned.
On the other hand, Kyriakos Mitsotakis and New Democracy, as recorded in foreign newspaper reports, are isolated from the EPP and the conservative governments of the EU and not only them. His hasty move to table a motion of mistrust to the government, pushes elections to 2019, and strengthens the governmental coalition…. / IBNA