Thursday, April 19, 2007

British nod to FYROM irks Athens

A decision by the British embassy in Skopje to refer to the “Republic of Macedonia” in official invitations for an embassy function taking place today in the resort of Ohrid has displeased Athens, sources told Kathimerini yesterday.

According to the sources, Britain’s Foreign Office has decided to refer to the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as the “Republic of Macedonia” despite Greek objections.

Britain is just one of several European Union states to have adopted this tactic recently. A few days ago, Luxembourg signed a contract for the protection of its investments with the “Republic of Macedonia.” Poland’s parliament has officially recognized the Balkan state by the latter name. As too have Bulgarian and Romanian authorities. A total of 114 countries, including the USA, China and Russia, have recognized FYROM as ”Macedonia” to date.

Greece has strenuously opposed FYROM’s insistence on being known as “Macedonia” as there is a northern Greek province of that name and Athens fears the move could set a precedent for territorial claims.

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