Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras briefed his German counterpart on Tuesday about the many fronts the country is dealing with.
Speaking by phone, the Greek PM updated German Chancellor Angela Merkel about the ongoing negotiations on the FYROM name issue, Turkey’s provocations and dangerous activity in the Aegean, as well as its attempts to obstruct exploratory drilling for fossil fuels in Cyprus’ Exclusive Economic Zone.
According to Greek government sources, Tsipras emphasised the need for a final solution on the FYROM name issue and urged for Turkey to respect for international law in the Aegean and the Mediterrenean.
The Greek PM will meet Merkel in Brussels on Friday on the sidelines of the EU Summit after Merkel’s meeting in Germany with FYROM’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
Meanwhile Greece’s main opposition party New Democracy argued argued for a “package deal” for FYROM.
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis who was attending the Munich Security Conference over the weekend during an interview with online Politico (Europe) news site said the solution “has to be a package deal. (…) All issues have to be resolved simultaneously. This isn’t just about a name, it’s about irredentism, it’s about changing the school books. (…) At the end of the day, it’s about changing their constitution to make sure that whatever is agreed is reflected in a constitutional change.”
Mitsotakis warned that if FYROM is “not willing to change their constitution now, we as a party are not going to start a discussion.”
As for Greek-Turkish relations, Mitsotakis said he was “extremely concerned,” as tension in the area has shown a sharp rise in the past year. “There’s reason to be extremely concerned,” he said.
“Turkey is disputing Greek territory and has done so over the past 20 years, but it’s doing so now in a much more aggressive manner. We need to be firm,” he said.