Thursday, November 08, 2007

Papariga urges shift from 1992 policy on FYROM

Communist Party of Greece (KKE) leader Aleka Papariga on Wednesday called on the government to "disengage" itself from the Council of Political Party Leaders decision of 1992 and agree with FYROM on a name for the neighbouring country containing the word "Macedonia" in an exclusively geographical context.

Papariga made the statements to the press after a 45-minute meeting with prime minister Costas Karamanlis, saying that she had put forward three matters.

The first matter was that: Any name agreed for FYROM could contain the word "Macedonia" in an exclusively geographical context, at the same time safeguarding Greece from any irredentist intent on the part of Skopje, noting that "there is nothing in our country that FYROM can set claim to".

The second matter was that: 2007 has many differences with respect to 1992, since 1992 was the beginning of the drama in the Balkans, while today the EU and the US have established themselves in the region, and so has Russia, with its interventions on the pipelines.

The government, she continued, must clarify its position and take a stance against Kosovo independence, because possible independence of Kosovo could lead to destabilisation.

She also stressed that the creation of a "second US protectorate in the region" must be averted, warning that in such an eventuality, and because lack of a delineated border between Kosovo and FYROM "could lead to (the creation of) a second Albanian state".

Regarding the Greek business presence in Skopje, Papariga said that the companies were not bridges of friendship, but "go there for profit". The bridge of friendship is the peoples, she said, and described the Kosovo issue as critical also for Greek-FYROM relations.

The third matter, the KKE leader continued, was that she called on the government to react immediately to statements by Metropolitan Anthimos of Thessaloniki "who said we should go into Skopje and take land".

Also, Papariga said, the KKE rejects the "chauvinistic propaganda of LAOS (Popular Orthodox Rally party) and the cosmoplitan theories of SYRIZA (Coalition of the Radical Left party)".

Replying to press questions, Papariga said that her party was not recommending any specific name. The KKE, she explained, was purely in favour of a geographical determination in FYROM's name.

To another question on provocations by FYROM such as the renaming of the Skopje airport into "Alexander the Great Airport", Papariga said that such matters should be "left to the historians, because such issues cannot enter into the diplomatic relations between countries".

Regarding the prospects for solution being found to the FYROM name issue, the KKE leader said that "things don't appear to be easy", adding that the FYROM leadership "is not even discussing" the problem, and "has strong backing".

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