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Greece, FYROM close to deal on name dispute


Greece and FYROM said on Tuesday they are close to a deal to resolve a dispute over the ex-Yugoslav republics name.

Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and his FYROM counterpart Zoran Zaev are expected to discuss the issue by phone on Tuesday. 

" hope that today we can announce to the public something nice," Zaev said.

A Greek government official, who declined to be named, said to Reuters: "A deal could be announced even today."

Greece had previously said it would accept a compound name with a geographical or chronological qualifier. An example of such a compromise could be "Northern Macedonia" or Nova (new) Macedonia.
Most Greek political parties have so far rejected any use of the name Macedonia, even with descriptive tags, and hundreds of thousands of Greeks demonstrated in February against any compromise.

Tsipras coalition partners, the right-wing Independent Greeks, have said they will not give their blessing to a deal.

Addressing a press conference in Athens on Tuesday, Panos Kammenos, who is also defense minister, said "we do not agree and we will not vote for any deal including the name Macedonia," He said he did not expect any accord to be backed by Skopje while he added that he and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras are maintaining “close cooperation on the issue.”

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