Zaev: The sooner Athens-Skopje name deal is implemented, the better

Zaev: The sooner Athens-Skopje name deal is implemented, the better

Greece and the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia will both benefit if the name deal agreed between the two countries to end the 27-year-old dispute is implemented as soon as possible, the country’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Euronews in an interview published on Sunday.

The interview comes a week after FYROM voted on the June agreement that will open the country’s path to EU and NATO accession.

Voters approved the deal with 91.5 percent but the turnout was only 37 percent, much lower than the 50 percent threshold to make it legally valid.

“There’s plenty of time, but we all agree that the sooner the deal is implemented, the better it will be for both countries, as the agreement offers many benefits,” he was quoted as saying.

“I am pleased with the success of this fully democratic process where all the determined voters cast their vote to say in what direction they want the country to go. Ninety-one percent sent a clear message to our politicians that deputies should go to Parliament and ratify it,” he added.

Zaev will now need to secure a two-thirds majority in Parliament in order to be able to make constitutional changes, but he is currently nine votes short.

He said if all possible ways to achieve a majority fail, then general elections will be necessary. “But Macedonia doesn’t need elections,” he noted.

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