Skopje Might Change Name of “Alexander the Great” Airport

The possibility that the new government of Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) might change the name of “Alexander the Great” Skopje airport, was announced by Foreign Minister Nikolai Dimitrov.

In an interview with German newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), Dimitrov criticized policies of the former Nikola Gruevski administration.

The new Zoran Zaev government, the foreign minister said, focuses on resolving the ongoing FYROM name dispute with Greece. Following the deep political crisis the country faced in recent years,  Dimitrov said, FYROM is returning to stability and its efforts to become a member of the EU and NATO.

Greece’s veto on the accension procedures, is one of the obstacles the new government is trying to overcome, Dimitrov said.

“For years, Athens has felt that the Gruevski government was provoking Greece, especially when it named the Skopje airport Alexander the Great Airport and turned the center of the capital into a kitsch, ancient mausoleum,” Dimitrov said.

“We do not need hundreds of monuments to feel proud of the Macedonians. We want to overcome vacant nationalism, which is based only on the erection of monuments or the name of roads, stadiums and airports such as “Alexander the Great”,” Dimitrov continued.

However, the FYROM foreign minister did not want to answer FAZ’s question whether the new government intends to withdraw the name “Alexander the Great” from Skopje Airport, as Athens asks.

According to FAZ, sources from Skopje do not rule out such a step after the municipal elections in October, as it is discussed to rename  the airport “Mother Teresa”, who was born in Skopje.


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