Hahn: Solution for the name dispute is possible only with leadership and statemenship

Johannes Hahn at EP plenary in Strasbourg; Photo: European Union

BRUSSELS – The Commissioner Johannes Hahn, in an interview with Deutsche Welle, said that he expects a solution for the name dispute between Macedonia and Greece to be achieved in the near future.

“It is necessary to have a leadership and statesmanship not only for a solution to be found but also for an agreement to be reached and the necessary political majority to be secured. It is a challenge for both countries’ leadership. I am constantly in touch with all of them and they are very dedicated and they know that it is important for a solution to be reached because such a problem between two countries in the middle of Europe cannot remain unresolved,” said Hahn.

Regarding the “Macedonia is Greek” protest in Athens, he said that if such events had an influence on him easily that would mean he is at the wrong job.

“It is part of our everyday job. It is a challenge, but we are working for a better Europe, and better Europe means better living conditions for its citizens, especially in the region, and that has an influence on us in the EU. This is a dispute that has been going for many years. There are certain sentiments especially in Greece, but I know that the current Greek government is dedicated to solving this problem and to find a solution for its neighbour. I am convinced that it can be achieved in a conceivable future,” said Hahn.