Former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis fiercely attacked the current head of the Greek Government and his former protégée, Antonis Samaras, for the failure to resolve the name dispute two decades ago. In an interview intended for the book “The dissolution of Yugoslavia and Greek fantasies” of the Kathimerini’s journalist Stavros Dzimas, Mitsotakis reveals details regarding the problems they faced in the 90’s of the last century in the attempt to solve the name dispute through a proposal for a complex name, reported the correspondent for news agency META from Athens. In the interview, Mitsotakis also claims that Miloshevik really proposed to him to divide Macedonia.
Former Prime Minister claimed that he was ready to solve the problem through a solution for a complex name, but a successful outcome of the dispute was blocked by the unrealistic ambitions of Samaras and the President at the time, Konstantinos Karamanlis, who, instead of offering support for moderate solution, turned his back on Mitsotakis. Brief details of the book, which will be published this month, were published today by Dzimas’ newspaper Kathimerini.
In the interview, Mitsotakis accused Samaras that he made a complete mess in the negotiations about finding a solution to the name dispute.
“He was not guilty, I was guilty that I sent an inexperienced man, so he relented under the unbearable pressure. He would leave, and I didn’t argue about his departure. I told him: “At that moment you could have get what you want, to say I’m leaving, but I want you to solve the problem with Skopje for me.” Germans then would have solved the problem in exchange for the issue with Croatia. Samaras had unrealistic ambitions, thought he had a chance to become Alexander the Great and that’s why he did this entire mess,” said Mitsotakis angrily, revealing details of his protégée and Foreign Minister at the time.
Also, he wasn’t moderate in the comments of President Karamanlis. According to Mitsotakis, and the President at the time is as much to blame because the name dispute is still not resolved. The statements show his disappointment because he didn’t receive the necessary support from him for a compromise name to be approved and passed in the Parliament in order to avoid this whole two-decade drama.
Mitsotakis also told Dzimas that Karamanlis fully supported the idea of a complex name and agreed with this position. He even tried to find a way to placate nationalist tensions. “When the big protests took place, Karamanlis called me desperately and said: – See what you can do to prevent the gatherings in order to reduce the frequency of the protests,” said Mitsotakis. However, at the key moment, when a serious decision was to be made, the Greek President retreated and left Mitsotakis high and dry.
The former Prime Minister pointed out that the Serbian Prime Minister at the time, Slobodan Miloshevik, exercised pressure on the Macedonian Government and trying to help him solve the dispute. Mitsotakis assures that Milosevic really proposed to him to divide Macedonia. “At our first meeting, Miloshevik asked me to divide the country. We can take half of the country, and they can take the other half. I told him to get serious, because that isn’t possible. I told him: – I saw that we saved ourselves from the Macedonian Slavs, they left on their own free will. So are you serious that I should return them to Greece?”, explains Mitsotakis for his conversation with the former Serbian Prime Minister.