Greece’s conservative political opposition will not back a deal to settle a decades-old row with Macedonia over its name unless the ex-Yugoslav republic changes its constitution, its leader said on Thursday, Reuters reported.
Athens and Skopje are negotiating to settle a dispute that has kept Macedonia from joining NATO and the European Union. Greece believes the name “Macedonia” implies a territorial claim over its northern region, which uses the same name.
“We will express our strong disagreement in parliament if and when such an accord comes,” New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, whose party leads the country’s leftist-led government in opinion polls, told the foreign press association.
“A constitutional review (by Skopje) is a necessary precondition for an accord,” he said.
The changes New Democracy wants would affect passages in the Macedonian constitution that refer to nationality, language and other articles. Macedonia so far has refused to consider any such changes. And in any case the Greek government can pass any agreement without the help of New Democracy.