Several FYROM media outlets – Slavic and ethnic Albanian – have reported that the name Ilindenska Republika Makedonija was tabled in talks between PM Alexis Tsipras and his countrerpart, Zoran Zaev, and that both sides appeared receptive to that name.
Zaev apparently proposed the name as an alternative.
Tsipras and Zaev will be briefing their presidents and opposition parties in the next few days.
“Unheard of until now in the dispute over the name between Macedonia and Greece «Ilindenska Republika Makedonija» is the agreed and acceptable solution hidden behind Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s delusion today in Sofia when he said that there is an acceptable solution for both sides,” the Koha.mk website reported.
The A1 On website in Skopje also reported on that name, which was also carried by the left-wing Athens daily Efimerida ton Syntakton.
The name strikes a deep nationalist and irredentist chord, as it commemorates the 1903 Ilinden uprising by the Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation (IMRO) against the Ottomans, and later efforts to establish a Slavic state on the entire geographic territory of Macedonia, including the largest part of Macedonia, within the boundaries of the Greek state.
The day commemorating the uprising (2 August), for which the Bulgarians also take credit, is a national holiday in FYROM.
It is unclear how Athens could accept a name with such heavy nationalist and irredentist baggage, as the eradication of irredentist elements from FYROM’s constitution is a key demand of the Greek side.
It is also unclear whether the Greek side, as some sources say, is reviewing the proposal, which is reportedly intended to placate the nationalist VMRO party in FYROM, on the grounds that it draws a direct connection with the clearly Slavic past of the northern part of the geographic region of Macedonia, and of present day FYROM in particular.
Zaev reportedly believes that the VMRO would sign on to the proposed name, which is clearly linked to the concept of a Macedonian ethnicity, a development that would give him the two-thirds parliamentary majority needed to revise the constitution to enshrine the new name, as Greece demands.