Juncker: Name issue needs urgent solution

The name issue should be solved by you, I am not in charge of giving ideas or guidelines, but I will underscore the urgency that characterizes the name row settlement, Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, said in an address in the Parliament of Greece.

“Mr. President, I will say something before the MPs here that I have said recently when I was in Skopje, where the issue about the name of this country was raised. I am not in charge of giving directions, or ideas as regards the issue which should be solved between the parties in any case. But, allow me to underscore the urgency characterizing the name row settlement considering the complexity of the region,” Juncker told the Greek MPs.

The EC President, amongst other things, in his speech referred to the countries in the region and their future in Europe.

He called Greece ‘the backbone of stability in the region’ and said that the Western Balkans required European perspective.

Also, Juncker elaborated that a recommendation for the opening of accession talks with the EU didn’t automatically set a date for start of negotiations.

“To be absolutely clear, I want to say that when the European Commission a week ago recommended accession talks be opened with Albania and FYROM, it didn’t mean that we have set a date for launching the negotiations. Attention! We shouldn’t rely on unrealistic announcements,” EC President Juncker said adding all candidate countries would undergo merit-based evaluations.

Earlier in the day, Juncker held a press conference with Greek PM Alexis Tsipras after holding a joint meeting, which focused on issues in the sphere of economy, regional developments, i.e. the Western Balkans.

With respect to the name issue, PM Tsipras said that Greece for the first time had been very decisive seeking a mutually acceptable solution to the name dispute noting that there were guarantees that the issue would be finally solved.