29 June, 2007
Athens' was keeping "all options open" concerning the EuroAtlantic prospects of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), Greek foreign ministry spokesman George Koumoutsakos said on Thursday.
"The judgement will be overall and will concern all the criteria we have set," he told reporters when asked what stance Athens would take, while he also referred them to a recent speech by Foreign Minister Dora Bakoyannis in Parliament on the issue.
Koumoutsakos said that FYROM would be judged collectively at European and Euro-Atlantic institutions, and that the judgement would be based on whether it showed good neighbourly relations, real flexibility in the process for finding a mutually acceptable solution to the issue of its name and whether it meets other terms and conditions, such as the Ohrid Agreement, steady implementation of the rule of law, effective justice and others.
"The prospect that Skopje will join NATO with the existing so-called 'constitutional' name simply does not exist," the spokesman added.
Greece objects to the use of the name 'Republic of Macedonia' adopted by FYROM on the grounds that it is the same as that of a northern Greece region on the tiny republic's border and may give rise to future territorial claims against Greece.
Athens also objects to attempts by FYROM's to establish a historic connection between the republic's Slavic-speaking majority and Alexander the Great, the ancient Macedonian king, general and conqueror that has long been regarded as an inseparable part of Greece's own history.
Source: Athens News Agency