A prominent American academic argues that Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras deserves the Nobel Peace prize for his efforts to solve the “Macedonia” naming dispute.
Writing in the influential Foreign Policy journal, Edward P. Joseph says that Tsipras together with his partner in Macedonia, has created a model for solving identity clashes across the globe.
Joseph is adjunct professor and senior fellow at Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies.
He argues that the agreement to be signed on Sunday is a “stinging rebuke to Russia and to its populist cronies in Europe” and that it “injects a timely boost of confidence in the European Union and the entire Western project for the Balkans.”
The article acknowledges that the agreement faces stiff opposition in both Greece and FYROM therefore “it’s urgent that Tsipras and [FYROM Prime Minister] Zaev gain not just support, but worldwide acclaim.”
The name dispute has languished so long for the simple reason that it has caused less pain to the larger, more powerful party, Greece, claims Joseph.
“This is what makes Tsipras’s vision so extraordinary…Unlike nearly all his predecessors, Tsipras grasped the benefit from ridding Greece of an unnecessary burden in its NATO and EU relations, as well as its relations with a neighbor.”
The deal proves that seemingly intractable, zero-sum disputes over highly emotive issues can, with good will and good reason, be parsed, he says and concludes that “it is not at all too soon to talk Nobel Peace Prize.”