08:04 GMT +322 August 2019
Listen Live
    Macedonian Army engineers build a fence on the border line between Macedonia and Greece, near southern Macedonian town of Gevgelija, Sunday, Nov. 29, 2015.

    Greek Migration Minister Apologizes for 'Macedonia' Mistake

    © AP Photo / Boris Grdanoski
    Europe
    Get short URL
    165

    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.

    Related:

    Macedonia Refutes Reports of Closing Borders for Refugees
    Refugees Try to Cross the River on Greek-Macedonian Border
    Over 30 Photojournalists Arrested Following Refugees Crossing to Macedonia
    We Don't Want More Refugees, Warns Danish Ambassador to Germany
    Tags:
    mistake, border, migrants, refugees, Macedonia, Greece
    Community standardsDiscussion
    Comment via FacebookComment via Sputnik