Just days before the Greek elections, the disclosure of a letter by former Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis to George Bush in 2005 on the issue of the name of fYROM at the time – now North Macedonia – intensifies the conflict between SYRIZA and ND.
The proposal for a dual naming without a constitutional revision
The newspaper Documento brought to light a letter from the Greek Prime Minister at the time, to the US President, in which K. Karamanlis expresses an opinion on the draft of the Nimetz proposal three years before the Bucharest Summit, saying that although it is far from the positions of Athens, it could become accepted as a basis for reaching a solution. The letter takes place about a year after the US recognized fYROM at the time, with the constitutional name “Republic of Macedonia”.
In particular, Karamanlis informs George Bush that the proposed name by the Special Mediator is “Republika Makedonija-Skopje”, with the aim of being used untranslatable for any official use within the UN system. In addition, he encourages other international organizations, as well as states, to choose the above name for each international official use. The constitutional name “Republika Makedonija” will continue to be used for purposes within FYROM, which means that no constitutional change is required.
Karamanlis’ circles speak of a tactical move
The authenticity of the letter was confirmed by former Prime Minister’s circles, but he noted that it was not a Greek proposal, but a proposal by Matthew Nimetz to resume negotiations. “It was a necessary tactical move in order for Greece to turn around what was decided against it and to afterwards win with fight and orderliness the advantage, as it actually happened in Bucharest, on the April of 2008”, they communicated.
Tsipras accuses ND of hypocrisy
Alexis Tsipras accused ND’s leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis for retaining a hypocritical position concerning the Prespa Agreement, since, the prime minister highlights, he was aware of not only where the Government of New Democracy stood during that period, but also of Karamanlis’ letter.
“They constructed on a large national lie a conspiracy against the Government of SYRIZA, which led the Greek citizens towards a large conflict with the utter goal of causing damage to the Government of SYRIZA and to me in person” the Greek Prime Minister stated today in his interview, calling for K. Mitsotakis to apologize to the Greek people.
The end of SYRIZA’s “relationship” with “pro-Karamanlis” party memebrs within ND
Apart from the confrontation between the two parties brought about from this revelation, it is recalled that it had been known in the past that in the negotiations before Bucharest the dual name without a constitutional revision was at the table – it also leads to developments within the government.
In recent weeks, the former Prime Minister, who had chosen to refrain from taking part in the public debate, has come forward in support of Kyriakos Mitsotakis. At the same time, for the first time, the Karamanlis government comes under the sights of SYRIZA and Al. Tsipras, with frequent criticism about the deficit that “opened the door to the memorandums”.
It should be noted that as early as in 2015 SYRIZA had made moves to collaborate with political figures that conformed to Karamanlis’ agenda. The collaboration with ANEL was part of this approach, alongside the placement of ministers such as the vice minister of Justice. And then there is the presidency of Prokopis Pavlopoulos, who notably refuses to sign the changes in the leadership of the justice department. The full-frontal attack against the presidency of Karamanlis, but also against Karamanlis himself, puts an end, as it seems, to the era of this of tactical purposes co-operation./ibna