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Tsipras Banks on Kammenos U-Turn on Name Dispute with FYROM

Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and Minister of Foreign Affairs Nikos Kotzias, piled pressure on Defence Minister Panos Kammenos to moderate his stance on the name dispute with FYROM, at Thursdays’ ministerial meeting in Athens.
Kammenos; until recently a strong opponent of any solution that would have contained the word Macedonia in the name of the former Yugoslav Republic, showed signs that he would perform one more of his trade-mark U-turns and fall in line.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, he reiterated that the use of the “Greek term Macedonia” is a non-starter.
However, analysts said this doesn’t necessarily rule out the possibility of his acceptance of a composite name that would include a Slavic spelling of the name “Macedonia.”
In another hint that Kammenos is moderating his stance, he expressed confidence in the way Kotzias is dealing with the negotiations.
Kammenos’ repeated statements that he would never support a solution that included the term Macedonia, created friction within the ruling coalition, prompting opposition criticism that the government does not have a uniform stance on the issue.
New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that the government must present a united position on the dispute over the name.
Speaking to the news website on Thursday, Mitsotakis added that up to now, the official position of the government on the issue is not known.
“When the government formally states its position through the Prime Minister, expressing both government partners, then we will be able to comment on the details of any solution the government will finally negotiate on,” he was quoted as saying.

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