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Greece furious over north neighbor’s “Wines of Macedonia”

It came as expected and feared. Companies in North Macedonia omit the geographic term and sell their products with state labeling as simple “Macedonian.” And this despite the Prespes Agreement or because of it that apparently did not cover all issues between Greece and North Macedonia, ex FYROM, especially with regards to products labeling.

In the latest incident of this dispute, a north Macedonian company named its wines “Alexander” and “Hermes” and promoted them as “Wines of Macedonia” and “Big Macedonian Red” at a big wine fair in Germany.

In another fair, the North-Macedonian Tourism office had the attribute ‘north’ with very small letters and “Mace-donia” in capitals.

Prime minister Alexis Tsipras got reportedly furious after prominent winemaker Evaggelos Gerovassiliou from Macedonia in North Greece, informed him about it with documents.

“The wine consumed at homes and facilities by thousands of people is not an anonymous product. Especially when its label has national symbols. And Alexander the Great is a national symbol,” said Gerovassilis whose vineyards are located in Epanomi by Thessaloniki.

it is worth noting that the region of Macedonia is top wine producer in Greece.

According to daily Estia, the Prime Minister said that such labels violate the Prespes Agreement.

Tsipras attended the event “Develop-ment perspectives in North Greece after the Prespes Agreement.” in Thessaloniki on Thursday. Invited were local entrepreneurs who used the opportunity to complain about the competition their products suffer when the neighbors in the North name theirs simply “Macedonian.”

Alexis Tsipras will pay an official visit to Skopje on April 2, the first after the Prespes Agreement.

Despite their complaints, over 70 Greek companies of all sizes from the fields of energy, construction, industrial products, food & beverages and hi-tech have expressed interest in participating in the business mission organized by state agency Enterprise Greece and will accompany Tsipras to Skopje. The mission sees multiple opportunities for investments and trade activity in the neighboring country.