The Independent Greeks (ANEL) party reiterated its position “set from the party’s founding” that it will not accept the term “Macedonia” or its derivatives in the FYROM name issue, through party spokeswoman Madalena Papadopoulou who gave an interview on Tuesday.
“We believe that the use of the term by our neighbours relates to their irredentism,” she said, explaining the position held by ANEL, the junior member of the ruling coalition.
Asked whether her party would accept the use of a name with “Macedonia” written in Slavic form, she said that “the term ‘Macedonia’ is Greek, whichever language you say it in. Even if you say it in Chinese, it is a Greek term, and we do not accept either this term or its derivatives for Skopje.”
She added however that “we must not prejudge the negotiations that have begun, because we do not know what the outcome will be.”
Commenting on Sunday’s rally in Thessaloniki over the name issue, she said, “It is wrong to assume that all these people who turned out for the rally belong to the extreme right. We cannot equate these people with the extreme right in Greece. The people asked that the name ‘Macedonia’ not be included in the neighbouring country’s name. We cannot ignore a request of the Greek people.”
Papadopoulou expressed support for the government, however, saying that “the government is putting out an effort with national interests in mind,” and she criticised the main opposition New Democracy for “trying to present the rally as a protest against the government.”