Delavekouras: Athens not expecting shift in Skopje positions on name issue

The Greek government does not expect any substantial shift in Skopje's policy concerning the name dispute with Greece after the upcoming general elections in the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM), foreign ministry spokesman Grigoris Delavekouras indicated on Thursday.
"We do not consider that there is some difference between the positions of [SDSM leader Radmila Sekerinska] and [current FYROM Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski]. We do not consider that there are differences in the positions adopted by successive FYROM governments," he told reporters when asked if the Greek government had any hopes of a breakthrough depending on the result of the election.

"What we expect from the elections in FYROM is a government that will display a constructive attitude," Delavekouras added, noting that "the time has come to find a solution to the name issue".
He said that Greece is investing in a future of stability and growth for FYROM and, in this framework, has supported that country's EuroAtlantic prospects.

"There will be mutual benefit from finding a solution to the name issue," the spokesman stressed and expressed hope that elections in Greece's northern neighbour will be carried out without problems in order to indicate the country's steadfast dedication to its European course.

Asked whether Greece was concerned about the impact of the Polish EU presidency on the name issue, given that Poland had disagreed with Greece's positions on the issue in the past, Delavekouras said that Athens looked forward to close cooperation with Poland during its EU presidency and noted that there were unanimous decisions taken by both the EU and NATO concerning FYROM's EuroAtlantic course.

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