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Greece to Stall North Macedonia's EU Accession Over Diplomatic Row and Constitutional Breach

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Photo: Greece to Stall North Macedonia's EU Accession Over Diplomatic Row and Constitutional Breach. Source: europa-eu
Photo: Greece to Stall North Macedonia's EU Accession Over Diplomatic Row and Constitutional Breach. Source: europa-eu

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis reiterated on Thursday his intention to slow down North Macedonia's accession to the EU after its new president violated the constitution and called the country "Macedonia" instead of "North Macedonia", reigniting a dispute with Athens over the name.

The Greek government will not submit for ratification the three memoranda of cooperation signed with North Macedonia on issues such as the EU accession process until Skopje fully complies with the Prespa Agreement signed in 2018, Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Thursday. 

"We will not ratify the memoranda until we are absolutely sure that the other side complies with all the provisions of the Prespa Agreement," he told Skai TV. 

His comments came after the main opposition put the memoranda to a vote in parliament, days after newly elected President Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova referred to her country as simply "Macedonia" during her inauguration, instead of the constitutional name approved in the Prespa Agreement. 

"I have clearly warned the new government in Skopje that any deviation from the agreement will have serious consequences for our relations with North Macedonia, as well as for the country's European path," he added. 

If Greece approves the memoranda, it will "lose any leverage it has" to pressure the neighbouring country to abide by the agreement, he said.

The Prespa agreement was concluded in 2018 between former Prime Minister and former SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras and his North Macedonian counterpart Zoran Zaev.

The New Democracy government, which first came to power in 2019, postponed the signing of the memoranda of cooperation in June 2021, claiming that North Macedonia was not implementing the country's name agreement in all contexts.

 

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