“To Vima”: Kotzias and Dimitrov are stepping up for an agreement

Points of convergence and positive climate after meeting in Vienna – the key to final agreement remains the combination of the gradual implementation of the erga omnes and amending of the constitution, reads an analysis of the Greek daily ‘To Vima’ about the marathon meeting of Greek, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov in Vienna. According to the analysis, it should be considered that the talks have been certainly accelerated and there is also an alternation of the composition of the negotiating teams of both parties. The immediate involvement of Foreign Ministers Kotzias and Dimitrov effectively eliminates one of the levels of talks, that of negotiators.

‘The talks are focused on an international agreement that will replace the 1995 Interim Accord and become the main pillar of the future relations between Greece and the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia,’ the analysis reads.

Regarding the name, referring to the statements of the Macedonian Prime Minister, the journalist analyzes that Nimetz’s proposals with a timetable are no longer on the negotiating table. After “Republic of Macedonia (Skopje)”, which was rejected by the Greek side, it now seems that “Republic of New Macedonia”, according to “To Vima”, is the name for which it is not discussed.

– A key point remains the combination of the gradual application of erga omnes with the changes in the Skopje Constitution, which is required by the Greek side. It is not clear how much progress has been made in this point, but from the existing information, Athens is not negatively inclined to give a “grace period” to Skopje to change its internal name. Normally, it will be necessary to agree the exact formula according to which this will be done, but also the time period (eg. 1 year) – the newspaper “To Vima” writes.
The journalist in the analysis comments that, according to public statements, the Macedonian side considers that language and identity are issues that cannot be negotiated.