Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is laying down his strategy on the FYROM naming issue amidst severe recriminations from New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis, who has said the time is not right for a settlement.
Tsipras is expected to brief President Prokopis Pavlopoulos today on the proposals of UN mediator Matthew Nimetz, and on the positions of FYROM Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, with whom the PM held talks at Davos, Switzerland.
It is unclear whether the PM will ask the president to convene the Council of Political leaders, to which representatives of all parties are invited. In 1992, the Council decided to reject any settlement allowing Greece’s northern neighbor to continue using the name Macedonia.
The prime minister will then brief his cabinet, in which there are two conflicting views on the naming issue. Syriza ministers support the acceptance of a compound name for FYROM, while those from the Independent Greeks party, the junior ruling coalition partner, rule out accepting any name that includes the word Macedonia.
The next step is to inform opposition parties, but it is as yet unclear if Tsipras will invite them individually, or whether he will choose to brief a plenary session of parliament, which would likely provoke a stormy debate.
Main opposition New Democracy leader, who would be the first to be called, has suggested that he would not accept such an invitation.
Foreign Minister Nikos Kotzias is also reportedly considering convening the Council of Foreign policy, to brief the opposition parties. It is an advisory body which meets mainly to discuss issues of major foreign policy import.