Greek minister told to resign for not calling Macedonia 'The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia'

Bizarre government row over correct name for Macedonia sparks accusations that ministers are trying to create a distraction from the migration crisis.

With thousands of refugees arriving on a daily basis and the threat of expulsion from the Schengen zone looming over the country, one might think Greece is treating the European migration crisis as its top priority.
Instead, the Greek government has been plunged into a bizarre row over the correct name of neighbouring country Macedonia, after its migration minister caused an outcry by failing to refer to it as the “Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.”
Despite apologising for calling Macedonia simply “Macedonia” during an interview on Tuesday, Yannis Mouzalas came under intense pressure to step down from ministers in Greece's ruling coalition.
The name "Macedonia" is internationally recognised but fiercely disputed by some Greeks, who feel that the country's choice of name is a territorial claim on Greece's own region of Macedonia.

Mr Mouzalas' remarks prompted defence minister Panos Kammenos to urge him to resign, while others claimed the dispute was a bid to distract Greece from its role in Europe’s worst migration crisis since the Second World War.

“I asked for Mouzalas to resign on his own, to protect the government and leave,” Mr Kammenos said, adding that the issue was taken very seriously by his right-wing party, Independent Greeks.
But the Greek government has stood by its migration minister and accused Mr Kammenos of trying to "weaken" him.
"The effort to weaken the minister, who struggles every day to handle the refugee crisis, is irresponsible and hypocritical, particularly ahead of the upcoming EU leaders summit," it said in a statement.


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