Macedonian opposition party: Deal with Greece harmful

NEWS 24.07.2018 20:24
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Source: Reuters

The leader of the largest single party in Macedonian parliament, the VMRO-DPMNE, said on Tuesday his organisation could not support Skopje’s deal with Athens on the country’s new name because it is “harmful”, the Belgrade-based Beta news agency reported.

“The agreement is harmful to the Macedonian interests, and we cannot support it,” Hristian Mickoski said after meeting Michael Roth, German Minister of State for Europe at the Federal Foreign Office, in Skopje.

Mickoski party’s statement said he reiterated that “VMRO – DPMNE is a political party sincerely in favour of the Republic of Macedonia’s integration with the European Union and NATO.”

On Monday, Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that after nine hours of discussion no deal was reached with the VMRO-DPMNE on a referendum on a new country’s name agreed with Greece in June.

After the meeting, Zaev accused Mickoski of lying about his party’s commitment to the Euro-Atlantic integration, adding he “tried to hide his real intents,” and refused to agree on the referendum which would have to decide on the deal.

On Tuesday, Roth echoed the European leaders’ message that unless the deal with Greece on the new name, The Republic of North Macedonia, were implemented, the country would not join either the European Union or NATO.

“The Macedonian future is in the EU and NATO, and that’s not only my opinion, but it’s also shared by the leaders of all 28 (EU) member states. However, it has to be clear that without the agreement on the name deal I see no chance for you to join,” Roth, who also met with Zaev and the Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, said.