The Greek Prime Minister, after informing the President of the Republic, Prokopis Pavlopoulos, made a televised speech in which he said, inter alia:
“A few hours ago and after many months of persistent negotiations, we were able to reach an agreement with the Prime Minister of fYROM to resolve our longstanding dispute over the name of the neighbor.
I would like to inform you that in order to establish constructive cooperation relations and sincere friendship among our peoples and so that Greece not only accepts but also takes the lead in the European and Euro-Atlantic prospects of our neighbors, they have agreed to change their constitutional name for all uses and for everyone.
They agreed to rename their country to the Republic of Severna Makedonija.
The change in the name will be realized both in terms of their international and bilateral relations, but also in the interior.
In short, this name will be erga omnes – for all, both abroad and internally, which means that our neighbors are obligated to revise their Constitution.
In this way and under the terms of the agreement, the 140 countries that today recognize our neighbors as Macedonia will now recognize them as “Democracy of Northern Macedonia”.
This clearly achieves a clear separation between Greek Macedonia and our North Neighbors and finally puts an end to the irredentism of their current constitutional name.
But beyond that, of great importance is the fact that we have agreed that our neighbors in the forthcoming Constitutional Revision will undertake to remove from their Constitution any reference that could be interpreted as irredentism”.
Shortly after 7.00 in the afternoon, Alexis Tsipras contacted Kyriakos Mitsotakis and all political leaders by telephone and informed them of the developments in the name issue and the following steps.
The leader of the Main Opposition, for his part, made the following statements on television, shortly after the speech of Alexis Tsipras:
“After six months of secret diplomacy, Mr Tsipras agreed with Mr Zaev to sign a transnational agreement to resolve the issue with the neighboring country. He did it after ignoring the Greek people and their sensitivities. And after defiantly ignoring the opposition and the House.
I want to be quite clear: Mr. Tsipras has no political legitimacy to bind the country by signing an agreement that does not have the support of his own government. This has no precedent in Greek politics and constitutional history and constitutes an insult to the parliamentary system. I will immediately inform the President of the Republic, institutional guarantor of the government, about this unprecedented development.
For the substance of the agreement and on what we have so far know and heard from Mr Tsipras, I have to say only this: Acceptance of “Macedonian language” and “Macedonian ethnicity” constitute an unacceptable national subsidence.
The solution that was agreed is a bad deal. It contrasts with the majority of Greeks. Some people do not realize it or even worse they are not interested in understanding it. They are the same ones who in the past had no objection for the neighboring country to be called plain Macedonia.
In addition, a bad deal offers ground to marginal assets to bid falsely on nationalism, which unfortunately happens almost everywhere in Europe.
We have several wounds have to heal as a country. We do not need to open another one, especially in Northern Greece. My priority is to contribute with all my might to safeguarding the unity of the Greek people. I repeat: We will not divide the Greeks to unite the Skopjians.
The problem of Skopje can not be turned into a problem of Greece. I urge Mr. Tsipras not to sign this agreement”.
Movement for Change
“The Movement of Change has repeatedly stressed that it is in favor of a solution, but not of any solution”, is stressed in the decision of the senior governing body. In this context, the conditions are repeated: “A compisite name for all, the constitutional revision, the cancellation of all forms of irredentism are our standing patriotic positions”.
“On the basis of these positions, we will assess the formal draft agreement that the government pledged to be made public, to see if it meets the prerequisites for the protection of national interests and the stability in the wider region, as well as the European principles are being promoted”, concludes the statement.
Koutsoubas: The agreement gives the “green light” to destabilize the region
According to the KKE, Koutsoubas stressed to the Prime Minister that “with this agreement, he and his government are giving a letter of recommendation to fYROM about its accession to NATO and the EU. In this respect, it gives the ‘green light’ for the insecurity and destabilization in the region”.
He pointed out that all the terms of the agreement are in the air until the timetable and the procedure set out in the agreement are completed.
Yet, the SG of the KKE pointed out to the Prime Minister that “with this agreement remains the “sperm” of irredentism, which consists in accepting by the Greek government the positions of the fYROM government regarding the terms “Macedonian citizen” and “Macedonian language”.
With his post on Twitter, the president of The River, Stavros Theodorakis, had announced his positive attitude to a possible agreement between Tsipras and Zaev.
“The River remains unwavering in its position to find a solution, which is a responsible and patriotic beneficial attitude, particularly when the country faces Erdogan’s threats”. We are waiting for the text of the agreement to take a more concrete position”.
Union of Centrists
Vassilis Leventis, for his part, reiterated to the Prime Minister the standing position of the Union of Centrists on granting the name “Macedonia” and added that his party will do everything it can to cancel this agreement./IBNA