“Welcome and Goodbye”, media in Skopje comments Venizelos’ visit

“Welcome and Goodbye”, media in Skopje comments Venizelos’ visit

Skopje, February 21, 2014/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

Today, media in Skopje were focused on the visit of the head of the Greek diplomacy, Evangelos Venizelos held yesterday to Skopje and his messages. The comments are different, some are positive, some are negative and they describe this visit in newspaper pages and information portals.

In an article entitled “Welcome and Goodbye”, daily “Utrinski Vesnik” writes that there are no results from Venizelos’ visit, but that clear messages were expressed as far as the solution of the name dispute is concerned.

According to this newspaper, president Ivanov has made it clear to Venizelos that Skopje is determined to preserve the Macedonian name and identity.

The newspaper also writes that the head of the Greek diplomacy, who also leads the EU presidency, has faced a “wall” and a unified positioning of the head of state and political parties, including the Albanian ones. Unanimously, they demanded from Greece to assist in the acceleration of the Euro integrating process in order to justify the EU leading role that this country has.

“Utrinski Vesnik” writes that Venizelos avoided joint press conferences with authorities in Skopje as a result of symbols and inscriptions containing “Republic of Macedonia”, which are not recognized by Greece.

Pro government newspaper “Vecer”, writes in an article entitled “Venizelos in Macedonia” that the head of the Greek diplomacy didn’t travel by plane to “Alexander the Great” airport, but nevertheless, he visited “Philip II” address in Skopje.

According to the newspaper, “Venizelos was clear about the fact that the path of Macedonia toward the European Union goes through Greece, but he underlined the need to find compromise on the issue of the name dispute”.

The newspaper also writes that in press conferences, Venizelos has been using the nomination “this country” and FYROM, avoiding “Republic of Macedonia”, which in several cases has been provoked by journalists.

Albanian daily newspaper, “Koha” writes that Venizelos was clear about the fact that without the solution to the name dispute, the country will continue to be blocked and that Skopje’s path to Brussels goes through Athens. According to this newspaper, this clear message issued by Venizelos has been communicated to all state officials in Skopje.

Venizelos’ visit is not a top story for “Dnevnik”, but it has published a survey carried out by EUROSTAT, which says “Macedonia has more faith on the EU amongst Balkan countries”.

In one of its headlines, the daily “Vest” reports on Venizelos’ visit, saying that the head of the Greek diplomacy, in the quality of the head of the EU, was clear that Skopje must go through Athens to reach Europe.

According to the newspaper, this was a clear message implying that Athens will be the main factor to decide on the fate of the Europe integrating process of the country if there’s a solution to the name dispute.

Opposition newspaper “Sloboden Pecat” publishes this headline: “Venizelos left optimistic, he only demanded tangible decisions from Skopje”.

According to the newspaper, the head of the Greek diplomacy has left with positive sentiments as far as the disposition of the authorities of Skopje is concerned, when he said that he has felt optimism and a positive sentiment as far as the cultivation of bilateral relations is concerned.

But, Venizelos also advises for the name dispute to be solved and the country to make concrete and tangible steps.

“Both sides have a concrete will to use the UNO led negotiations to make progress in the process for the solution of the name dispute”,  Venizelos’ declaration was quoted.

“Sitel” TV network reported on the main news edition that during his stay in Skopje, Venizelos tried to avoid, through the protocol of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the constitutional name of Macedonia, but according to this TV network, he didn’t manage this, because every state institution bears the inscriptions containing the constitutional name.

Channel 5 TV network has issued a declaration issued by Venizelos, which according to this network, is irritating, as the head of the Greek diplomacy has declared “the residents of Skopje must learn what politics and European culture is”.

All local media too have focused on the visit of Mr. Venizelos, reporting over his meetings and messages. /ibna/