North Macedonia: has the compromise paid off?

Athens and Skopje settled their name dispute over "Macedonia" a year ago when on 17 June 2018 they signed the Prespa agreement. The landlocked country in southeastern Europe is now called North Macedonia. Both sides have benefited from the resolution of the dispute, Greek observers conclude.

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Greece has become stronger

The agreement has bolstered Greece's international negotiating position, web portal TVXS comments approvingly:

“The crisis triggered by Turkey's provocations in the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) off the coast of Cyprus shows this. In comparison to the situation a few years ago the Greek position has clearly grown stronger. We see that the multi-dimensional foreign policy of the Syriza government has forged important alliances and bolstered the country's international standing. The resolution of the long-standing dispute with the neighbours to the north has strengthened the Greek demands and increased Turkey's isolation. ... Greece has the necessary diplomatic support to defend its interests while Erdoğan's spasmodic actions - such as the attempt to drill in the EEZ - lead nowhere.”

Avgi (GR) /

A revival in the middle of nowhere

The agreement will revitalise the border region between North Macedonia and Greece, economic analysts Lois Lambrianidis and Giorgos Angelopoulos comment in the pro-government daily Avgi:

“North Macedonia has become a friend and ally. ... Northern Greece and in particular [the northern Greek region] Macedonia will certainly benefit from this. For decades the country's northern border seemed like the middle of nowhere. Communication between the people and the flow of goods, labour and capital were practically non-existent and the region's economy was underdeveloped. ... Now the need to improve the infrastructure (roads, power network, irrigation systems, research centres, universities, etc.) has been created. And the channelisation of resources this will require will in turn boost the dynamics in the region.”