With many New Democracy MPs representing districts in northern Greece opposing use of the name Macedonia by the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, there has been talk of late regarding the possible formation of a new party, to the right of conservative ND.
The objective would be to provide political shelter to hardcore right-wingers who are disgruntled with the country’s traditional conservative party.
The man who for now appears to be leading the charge is Central Macedonia Prefect Apostolos Tzitzikostas, who lost his ND leadership bid to Kyriakos Mitsotakis.
In recent remarks, Tzitzikostas said that the current political juncture is ideal for Greece to strike a deal that would forbid Greece’s northern neighbor from using the name Macedonia at all.
But at the same time, Tzitzikostas said that the government would not be legitimised if it backed off from the national red line drawn at the Bucharest Nato summit in 2008, a composite name with a geographic marker attached to the name Macedonia, for all uses, international, bilateral, and domestic.
Tzitzikostas’ remarks were viewed by some as an effort to make his mark on the national stage, but it also coincided with moves by Macedonian organisations in northern Greece to circulate a petition for the government not to approve the use of the name Macedonia by Skopje.
Given the fact that ND’s northern Greece MPs would vote down a composite name that includes the word Macedonia, a new, right-wing, self-styled patriotic party, which would not be far right and which would be supported by some Metropolitan bishops in northern Greece, would politically serve various sides.
Though much will depend on New Democracy’s final stance on the naming issue, which Mitsotakis is not revealing yet, sources say that there have been several moves by business circles to support a new party to the right of ND.