Greece PM says willing to solve Macedonia name dispute July 10, 2010Posted by Yilan in Macedonia, Yunanistan.
Tags: George Papandreou, Greece, Macedonia
Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou on Wednesday expressed his willingness to resolve problems with Macedonia.
Papandreou, who is also foreign minister, said Greece was ready to find a shared solution to a problem they had with Macedonia about the country’s name. He said this would be an important symbol for the region.
Speaking at summits of the Southeast European Cooperation Process, or SEECP, and the Southeast European Culture Corridors in Istanbul, Papandreou said important steps had been made in the region on the way to democratization, human rights, countering corruption and supremacy of law. However, Papandreou underlined that some political and social problems still continued in the region.
The Greek prime minister said the implementation pace of the reforms was not satisfactory every time and everywhere. “We need a new dynamism in the accession process. The future of this region is within the EU,” he said.
Referring to his country’s support for Turkey’s EU bid, Papandreou said their target and vision were to make all countries in the Balkans part of the European family. Commenting on problems between Greece and Macedonia, Papandreou said Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski launched initiatives pertaining to problems between the two countries.
“They made new steps for the solution of our problems. Of course, the U.N. mediation process played an important role, and we are ready for a solution that can be accepted by the two parties,” he said.
Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who also addressed the summit, said everybody should be respected in Europe without considering their ethnic identity and religion. He said new cultural bridges could be built by focusing on similarities, not differences.
Referring to the importance of finding a solution to disagreements in the region through peaceful means, Gruevski said: “We may open a new page in that case. This will open an area of peace and carry us to success.” Gruevski said Macedonia considered peace and stability as inseparable.
“We should definitely cooperate if we want to form a common future and be a part of a broader Europe,” he said. Referring to disagreements between Macedonia and Greece, Gruevski said peoples of the two countries had been living together for thousands of years.