Saturday, January 12, 2013

What's in a name?

United Nations Mediator Matthew Nimitz is in the Macedonian capital of Skopje to help resolve a longstanding name problem between Macedonia and Greece. Nimitz met with officials and indicated Greece is willing to solve the ongoing dispute with Macedonia. Some 130 countries already recognize Macedonia, but Greece refuses acknowledging that name since it has a region called "Macedonia" within the country. Greece wants Macedonia to change its name. The name has been in debate since the country declared independence in 1991. Macedonia could become an UN member with the name "Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia". Macedonia's NATO membership could not be realized due to Athens's veto. The international mediator has reportedly for the first time spotted willingness on both sides to find a solution and a chance to terminate the 20-year name dispute. Greece still insists on introducing a geographical attribute in Macedonia’s name, while Skopje wants a double use of the name – the new name only in its relations with Athens and Republic of Macedonia in its ties with the rest of the world. See and