Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias are said to have had an open discussion on the sidelines of the informal meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the EU in Riga, over the course of which they voiced utterly conflicting views on the contentions issue in the bilateral relations. What they agreed on was that there is mistrust at the political level.
“The political-level mistrust is a reality. In Macedonia it is caused by the decades-long obstructions, the breached agreements and the damage we have suffered because of the blockades. In Greece it is a result of the negative campaign that created mythological fears. Today they are held hostage by the past,” Minister Poposki told Dnevnik.
With such mistrust, according to Poposki, the solution comes down to honoring law but there has to be will for this, too. In his view, there is nevertheless trust among people and businesses from both countries since if this had not been the case there would not have been cooperation between Macedonia and Greece in the areas of economy and tourism, for instance.
Sources from the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs say the first impression from the meeting with the Greek foreign minister is that the new government in Athens appears less concerned with the name issue and that it is also seeking excuses to leave the problem aside for a while.