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Negotiations in Brussels over FYROM name issue

Today, Tuesday 12 December, the UN mediator on the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) name issue, Matthew Nimitz, will have meetings in Brussels with the negotiators of Greece and FYROM, Adamantios Vassilakis and Vasko Naumovski respectively.

The meetings, as stated in a UN statement, are part of the United Nations efforts to help the two sides find a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue.

According to information, at these meetings in Brussels with the negotiators of the two countries, Nimitz will not submit a new proposal on the name issue and will probably use these first meetings after a very long time to explore the intentions and to discuss the form and dynamic of the process.

However, according to information from Greek television network Star, which were broadcasted on Monday evening, the predominant name for FYROM, which is being discussed in Brussels by special mediator Matthew Nimitz and the Greek-FYROM negotiators, is the “New Macedonia”.

Always according to the information, if the representative of FYROM agrees, Athens will accept this name in order to close the issue in the first months of 2018.

The original Greek proposal in the past summer, according to Star TV, was the name “Macedonia of Vardarska”, but now the two sides have apparently settled for “New Macedonia”, which had been heard before in 1992 and was included in the famous Pineiro package, which had been rejected at the time.

According to the station’s report, a geographical name, such as “Northern Macedonia”, does not seem to be preferred neither by the Greek side either, considering that it does not deal with the irredentism of Skopje as it implies the existence of Southern Macedonia, nor the Bulgarians.

“As such, talks are expected to focus on “New Macedonia” and if something does not change along the way, the goal is to find a solution by the spring of 2018. Besides, Alexis Tsipras, on Saturday, after the four-day meeting in Belgrade, appeared optimistic that there will be an agreement in 2018″, the same report notes.

As the Star report concludes, the question for the Greek government is “how it will pass in the House, given that Panos Kammenos will have difficulty agreeing to such a name. Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras believes that ND will have intraparty problems, so it will pass through interparty votes from the factions or individual MPs that will side with the government."