Rallies? What rallies? Even after hundreds of thousands — or perhaps a million or more — Greeks took to the streets in Athens, Thessaloniki, and other Greek cities as well as diaspora communities around the world, the “patriotic” Greek foreign minister Nikos Kotzias continues to insist on a final deal with Greece’s northern neighbor which will include the name “Macedonia” in some form.
According to reports, the Greek foreign ministry has already sent its latest set of proposals to FYROM, leading up to the visit of Kotzias to Skopje later this week, on March 22.
The name which seems to be favored by the “Greek” side at this time is “Republika Gorna Makedonija” (Republic of Upper Macedonia), while “Nova Makedonija” (New Macedonia) has also reportedly been proposed. Both names would be written in their Slavic form, instead of in the more recognizable English form of “Macedonia.”
These proposals have reportedly created a split in Skopje between prime minister Zoran Zaev, who is said to be warm to the latest proposals from the “Greek” side, and FYROM’s foreign minister and Kotzias’ counterpart Nikola Dimitrov, who is said to not consider these latest proposals as a starting point for further talks.
Apparently also included in the “Greek” package of proposals is a change in the constitution of FYROM to eliminate any expansionist language.
Conspicuous in his absence from these latest proposals and more broadly for the past several weeks is United Nations-appointed mediator Matthew Nimetz, who suddenly seems to be a non-entity in the talks between the two countries, at least publicly.
Considered by some in Greece to be “patriotic” and one of the better members of the SYRIZA-led government, Nikos Kotzias recently, and quite ludicrously, likened the Macedonia naming issue to “a bride with the name Macedonia, to which the name of her husband will be added.”
Just last week, Kotzias reportedly was the recipient of a threatening package containing a bullet, slightly over a month after Kotzias is said to have received another threatening letter in which the author claimed to have “three bullets” awaiting Kotzias. In that same letter, deputy foreign minister Giorgos Katrougalos was also apparently targeted, referred to as a “worm.”
Oddly enough, it is Katrougalos himself who, in the past, is known to have used this same insult in private communications with individuals who have spoken out against the policies of the SYRIZA-led government…
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