Gov’t will ratify North Macedonia memorandums when ‘national interest’ allows, Dendias says

Gov’t will ratify North Macedonia memorandums when ‘national interest’ allows, Dendias says

The government will table memorandums of cooperation with North Macedonia in Parliament for ratification only when the “national interest and parliament’s agenda permit,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday.

Responding to a question from PASOK-Movement for Change MP Giorgos Kaminis, Dendias accepted that there had been a delay with the memorandum but said there was a “wider perspective of national interests, which every government has the right to adopt.”

He added that the memorandums will be brought for ratification when the government judges it expedient to do so.

Regarding the Prespa Agreement with the neighboring country, Dendias said the prime minister had a “clear position” that that “the Greek government does not have the option of adopting a revisionist policy for agreements that [the country] has signed, irrespective of governments.”

New Democracy opposed the Prespa Agreement when it was agreed in 2018 between former prime minister Alexis Tsipras with his North Macedonia counterpart, Zoran Zaev.

The New Democracy government deferred the signing of the cooperation memorandums in June 2021, claiming that North Macedonia was not implementing the Prespa agreement on the country’s name in all contexts.

Dendias noted that Greece still had issues regarding the implementation of the agreement, but his own sense was that the government in Skopje was making efforts in the face of “strong reactions from the domestic opposition.”

Kaminis said that the great delay and silence on the government’s part “could not be justified,” adding that the foot-dragging on the issue did nothing for its credibility abroad and allowed North Macedonia to continue with undesirable actions with respect to brand names and school books.

He attributed the delay to problems within the government, claiming that it could not muster sufficient support among its own MPs for ratification as it had turned foreign policy issues into fodder for populism and petty domestic political goals. [AMNA, Ekathimerini]

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