German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) called on the Macedonian opposition VMRO-DPMNE to vote for the agreement the country made with Greece on a new name, the Beta news agency reported on Wednesday.
Deutsche Welle (DW), German international broadcaster, reported that the European People’s Party (EPP), an umbrella organisation for the European conservative parties, was expected to jointly pressure VMRO-DPMNE to accept the constitutional changes.
Speaking on behalf of the German conservative coalition, Johan Vadeful said that if the parliament did not pass the constitutional changes, VMRO-DPMNE would be directly responsible for blocking Macedonia from the European Union and NATO membership and the country’s isolation in Europe.
Last Sunday’s referendum in Macedonia failed to attract enough voters to be legitimate, but over 90 percent of those who cast their ballot was in favour of the June deal signed by Macedonian and Greek prime ministers Zoran Zaev and Alexis Tsipras to change the current name into North Macedonia.
The agreement opened the door to Macedonian Euro-Atlantic integrations that Greece blocked for 27 years.
German Government also called on Skopje to continue working on the implementation of the deal with Athens, since the referendum was not binding, and the last word would have to come from the parliament.
DW said that in addition to CDU reaction, other European conservative parties were expected to put pressure on VMRO-DPMNE.
In case of an adverse reaction by the Macedonian opposition party, some sources from the European conservative circles talked about a possible suspension of the VMRO-DPMNE membership.
Zaev’s coalition has the support of 71 deputies, but it needs 80 votes for the constitutional changes to be accepted.