15:19 GMT04 August 2020
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    Greek Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas apologized Wednesday for a recent slip of the tongue, when he failed to use the full name of the neighboring Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

    ATHENS (Sputnik) — Mouzalas used the name "Macedonia," which Greece does not accept in reference to the neighboring country in a television interview on Tuesday. The mistake has provoked a political scandal in Greece, with the country's defense minister, Panos Kammenos, asking Mouzalas to resign.

    "I apologize for the accidental mistake, which does not correspond to my position and beliefs on the national issue regarding the name of FYROM," Mouzalas said as quoted in the ministry's statement.

    Athens and Skopje have a long-standing dispute over the name of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia. According to the Greek Foreign Ministry, the issue arose in 1991 when Macedonia seceded from Yugoslavia and declared its independence under the name "Republic of Macedonia." The modern country is officially listed as the FYROM at the United Nations.

    The Greek side considers that the term "Macedonia" refers to the empire and culture of the ancient Macedonians, which was a dominant state in Hellenic Greece and is a part of Greek historical and cultural heritage. A northern Greek region is called Macedonia and is considered to be the core of what was ancient Macedonia, and that is why Athens demands that the neighboring state be exclusively called the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia or FYROM.


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    mistake, border, migrants, refugees, Macedonia, Greece
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