Macedonia’s top politicians fail to agree on referendum

NEWS 19.07.2018 20:02
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The heads of Macedonia’s four leading parties met in Skoplje on Thursday but failed to reach agreement over the referendum on the agreement with Greece to change the name of the that former Yugoslav republic.

The referendum to confirm the agreement reached by Athens and Skoplje is a condition for Macedonia to join NATO and start accession talks with the European Union.

The leaders of two ruling and two opposition parties are due to meet again in the next few days. “Membership in the EU and NATO is Macedonia’s strategic goal and there is no compromise over that. We will give negotiations a chance if that is possible,” Prime Minister and SDSM leader Zoran Zaev said after the meeting with DUI leader Ali Ahmeti and opposition VMRO DPMNE head Hristijan Mickoski and the Albanian Besa party Besa Bilal Kasami.

Zaev said the goal is to hold the referendum by the end of the year and warned that there is a time limit on the deal with Greece to change the former Yugoslav republic’s name to North Macedonia.