FYROM’s prime minister, Zoran Zaev, has underlined that the Greece-FYROM naming accord ensures the recognition of the existence of a Macedonian language and identity in perpetuity.
That recognition is at the core of his campaign for a yes vote on the referendum on the Greece-FYROM agreement, which Zaev has set for 30 September.
Speaking to an audience in Pehcevo, Zaev declared that, “The Macedonian language will always be Macedonian, and Macedonian identity will always be Macedonian”.
The statement comes straight on the heels of a Wikileaks revelation of a US Embassy wire, which indicated that Skopje in 2008 was prepared to accept all the elements of the current agreement, including the name North Macedonia and the recognition of a Macedonian language and identity.
The Greek side had always rejected the existence of a Macedonian language and identity, but Skopje in talks with Greece never accepted a name change, much less a constitutional revision to enshrine the new name, which the current agreement provides for.
The US Embassy document has already become fodder for those in Greece who staunchly oppose the agreement, who say that Athens essentially kowtowed to all of Skopje’s positions and demands.
Zaev reiterated that the accord constitutes an historical opportunity for FYROM.