Greece on Macedonia negotiations (1995)

Suggested Citation: Neophytos G. Loizides, Greek-Turkish Negotiations and Crises 1983-2003 Dataset , Queen's University Belfast (available online at http://www.qub.ac.uk/research-centres/CentrefortheStudyofEthnicConflict/TeachingResearch/Datasets/Greek-TurkishNegotiationsandCrises1983-2003/#d.en.173636)

Case Summary:

On September 13, Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) sign an Agreement intended to reach a compromise after four years of tension and to normalize political and commercial relations. Lexis/Nexis provides 65 results for the terms “Greece,” “ Macedonia ,” and “negotiations” for the period 9/1/1995 to 10/1/1995 (full text search under European News Sources).

Case Study Features:

Effectiveness of Offensive Policies: 0

The continuation of the embargo carries enormous legal and political risks for Greece , particularly if the EU commission proves that the embargo is illegal.

Offensive vs. Defensive Signals Indistinguishable: 0

The “use” of the name Macedonia gradually loses its offensive character in Greece . Foreign observers point out that the ethnic Macedonian leadership and its actions are defensive and extremely conducive towards peace in the Southern Balkans. [i]

Enduring Ethnic Rivalries : 1

Rivalries result from the bitter wars over Macedonia in the 20th century and the Greek civil war (1946-1949).

Domestic Challenges : 1

There is fear of imminent elections, due to the weak health of PM Andreas Papandreou.[ii] The possibility of general elections has been avoided with the election of Kostis Stephanopoulos as president in March 1995, for a five-year term. Prime Minister Andreas Papandreou's Panhellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK) remains in power, and the next general elections are expected in November 1997.[iii] However, Papandreou becomes the target of several attacks from within his own party to resign because of his failing health.[iv]

Confrontational Policies (dependent variable): 0

Greece and the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) reach an interim agreement on September 13, 1995. Although the two countries succeed in reaching a settlement on a number of issues, such as the 19-month-long trade embargo, they fail to reach a compromise on the name issue.[v]

[i] Cord Meyer, “Macedonia, Greece come to terms”, The Washington Times, September 15, 1995, p.21.

[ii] Philip Jacobson, “Is Mimi the woman now running Europe? As the Greek socialist government prepares to take over the presidency o an increasingly fragile EC,”  Daily Mail,  January 3, 1994, p.8

[iii]Greece: The long way to Maastricht ”, Janet Matthews Information Services, Quest Economics Database, Union Bank of Switzerland Country Report, October 1995, p.1

[iv] , “Pasok Suspends Papandreou Critic”, Facts on File World News Digest August 24, 1995 , p.620; Kerin Hope, “Pasok grows impatient with a reluctant Papandreou: Party fears for its prospects unless ailing leader names successor”, Financial Times, August 10, 1995, p.2.

[v]Greece Lifts Macedonia Embargo”, Facts on File(World News Digest),   September 14, 1995 , p. 676