The Prime Minister of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia has confirmed in an interview with Reuters that there are currently four options of the country’s name that are under negotiation with Greece.
Negotiations are at a feverish pace, led by United Nations negotiator Matthew Nimitz, who has been handling the bitter dispute for almost a quarter of a century.
According to Zoran Zaev, Prime Minister of FYROM, “The suggestions are Republic of North Macedonia, Republic of Upper Macedonia, Republic of Vardar Macedonia and Republic of Macedonia (Skopje),” Zaev told Reuters after attending a summit on the Western Balkans in London.
Asked whether Greece would be happy with one of these options he added: “Yes… They have more preferred options and some not so preferred options (in terms of the name).”
The foreign ministers of the two countries are due to hold additional talks and Zaev will meet Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras in March.
The four proposed names won’t bode well with a loud and vociferous public in Greece and abroad, which opposes the use of any derivative of the name “Macedonia” in the country’s name.
Massive demonstrations have been he’d in Thessaloniki and Athens, as well as cities throughout the Greek diaspora including Toronto, Melbourne and throughout Europe.
A demonstration is being planned in New York City for March 18 at the United Nations where organizers hope to send the same message that no use of the word Macedonia will be accepted.
Zeal spoke about the “dignity” of his people in the interview with Reuters and his desire to preserve that. He also said that should the negotiations come to an end favorably, he would call for a referendum of his population of around 2 million citizens to support the name change.
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