Opposition Party ND statement condemned BBC story on ethnic Macedonian minority in Northern Greece

Main opposition party New Democracy (ND) issued a statement on Sunday responding to BBC channel’s story. The BBC story focused on the alleged presence of an ethnic Slav-Macedonian minority, residing in Northern Greece for many decades, but stripped of political representation and socio-linguistic rights.

The BBC story also mentioned of a recent parliamentary confrontation between ND leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis and Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras. The Greek Prime Minister accused the opposition party leader for affiliating with nationalist and most conservative elements of the society by non-recognising the positive impact of Prespes Agreement both for the Greek state and Northern Macedonian counterpart. Within this context, the ND statement also made reference to the July 2018 Prespes Agreement. The statement reiterated that the opposition party does not endorse all parts of the agreement but also underscored that nowhere within the Prespes framework there are provisions and/or references about the presence of a suppressed ethnic Macedonian minority in Greece.

It is not easily conceivable why the BBC site publicised a story about a suppressed Macedonian minority in Greece at a time when the country’s foreign policy has to cope with major challenges in its near-abroad.

Indicative challenges entail among others the impact of the Prespes Agreement, delimitation of boundaries with Albania, and accommodating Turkish aggression in the Aegean Sea and Cyprus. Interestingly, the Greek Prime Minister chose to staff the Greek Foreign Ministry at this critical for Greece period with officials who neither possess the required knowledge nor the necessary experience to handle these affairs as shrewdly as the former Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikos Kotzias, did. And we all wonder why.

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