PASOK up in arms over Macedonian plane in Corfu
Friday, 19 June 2009

The largest Greek opposition party PASOK accused the government of Costas Karamanlis for making 'dangerous' precedent with the decision to allow foreign minister Antonio Milososki to arrive to Corfu at the OSCE meeting with government’s plane which reads the Macedonia, Ta Nea daily reads Friday.

According to PASOK this undermines the Greece’s negotiating position in the name dispute and sends wrong message to Skopje in light to continuation of name talks with Mathew Nimetz’s mediation.

In Athens so far there is no official announcement for possible meeting between Greek and Macedonian foreign ministers Dora Bakoyannis and Antonio Milososki in the sidelines of OSCE Summit in Corfu on June 27-28, which takes place in interperiod of Nimetz’s meeting with two countries’ negotiators on June 22 in Geneva and his visit to Skopje and Athens on July 6 and 8.

Also Macedonian Foreign Ministry said that so far no Milososki – Bakoyannis meeting was announced. Macedonian side is prepared for possible meeting in Corfu, but so far there are neither positive signals nor mood in Athens for this, Macedonian Foreign Ministry said.

Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis in the interview with Apogevmatini daily said that Athens still remains on "well-known position – mutually acceptable solution: a compound name that is valid for everyone." – It would be a win-win situation without winners and losers, Valinakis said. The blame for unresolving the name issue is put on the Macedonian side, which, as he said "leads politics which has nothing to do with principles of good neighbourly relations in contrast to Greece’s approach on the issue which is based on good faith and goodwill.

In 1994, Corfu was the location when a Macedonian plane "Pal Air Macedonia" was seized by Greek Authorities and repainted in order to remove the "Macedonia" insignia from it. Some say this incident which had never been seen before on a world scale, marked the turning point which made the two countries bitter enemies. 

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