FYROM Prime Minister, Zoran Zaev, will celebrate New Year’s Eve together with the mayor of Thessaloniki, Yannis Boutaris, after having accepted a private invitation from the unconventional mayor.
FYROM governmental spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski, spoke to the press on Wednesday, and clarified that “PM Zaev’s stay will be a private visit, not an official one”.
Boutaris invited premier Zaev during a visit to Skopje, on November 16. That visit had caused a political uproar in Greece, when the mayor referred to FYROM as “Macedonia”, during some English-speaking statements he made in Skopje.
Following reactions to his comments, Boutaris remained unfazed saying that the uproar was caused by “extreme right-wing elements responsible for dragging the name dispute for so long.”
The Thessaloniki mayor has been extremely vocal for the rapprochement between his city and FYROM, citing the hundreds of thousands of FYROM tourists visiting Thessaloniki every year and contributing to the local economy.
Boutaris has said that his plan is to turn Thessaloniki into a hub for the Balkans, and that in order to accomplish this, he has to invest in the city’s international relations.
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