Saturday, November 04, 2006

Skopje must accept compromise name or won't get in EU and NATO: Karamanlis

Greece will block the accession of Macedonia in EU and NATO, if Macedonia refuses to accept a compromise over the constitutional name of the country.

Greek Prime Minister Kostas Karamanlis said this in his speech before the Greece's Parliament.

"The leadership of this neighboring country needs to assess the situation and respond to Greece's positive stand", Karamanlis said in the course of debate on state's foreign policy. "On the road (of Macedonia) to EU and NATO, a mutually acceptable name has to be defined. It stands as a condition for Greece's ratification of the accession", the Greek Prime Minister specified.

By signing the 1995 Interim Agreement, Greece undertook an obligation not to block Macedonia's membership in international institutions and organizations.

Athens's problem with the name of Macedonia dates from early 20th century, when Greece formed an alliance with Serbia and Bulgaria in the war against Turkey, and occupied about 50 percent of the geographic territory of Macedonia. This area is now a region in northern Greece.

The part of the territory which was then taken over by the Kingdom of Serbia, is the territory of the present-day Macedonia.

Smaller parts of the geographic territory of Macedonia are now within the borders of Bulgaria and Albania.

No comments: