Skopje mayor Petre Shilegov said Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) are showing a willingness to resolve the decades-old name dispute, in an interview with the Sunday edition of newspaper "Documento".
Speaking to the paper, Shilegov said: "When you want to solve a problem, you solve it. When you don't, you don't [...] We want to solve problems, not create them."
Asked whether he agrees with a statement made decades ago by late former FYROM President Kiro Gligorov, that FYROM nationals are Slavs and have no connection to Alexander the Great, Shilegov agreed.
"Alexander the Great was never a part of our regular history. It was introduced in our history the last 10 years. Basically, when you talk about such nationalities, states and peoples, you are referring to the last three hundred years, while Alexander the Great was two thousand three hundred years ago. I prefer to see him more as the leader who civilized the whole world," he said.
The mayor, who is also vice-president of the ruling Social Democratic Union (SDSM), also said FYROM has already made constitutional amendments in 1992 and there are no articles hiding irredentism.
"We changed our Constitution on this issue in 1992. There is no article in our Constitution that claims such a thing for any country. In fact, there is an article that says that we don't have any territorial claims towards neighbouring countries. Therefore this should not constitute a threat to anyone in Greece," he said.
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