Zaev not worried over prospect of political changeover in Greece

Zaev not worried over prospect of political changeover in Greece

Neither Skopje nor Athens would benefit from reopening issues that have already been resolved, North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has said about the potential impact of a conservative election victory in Greece on the so-called Prespes accord.

“It is up to the Greeks to select their government but the settlement of the name issue entails many advantages for both countries – and this regardless of who is in power,” Zaev said in an interview with Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung released Thursday.

“I do not think that the situation will become more difficult,” he was quoted as saying.

New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis has strongly opposed the name deal signed by leftist SYRIZA administration last summer.

Asked whether a conservative government would undermine North Mecedonia’s EU membership talks, however, Zaev admitted that “parts of our agreement with Greece still need to be implemented, such as the issue of passports and other documents bearing the country’s new name or the revision of history textbooks.”

“These could complicate our accession talks at any time,” he said.

During a meeting with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin Thursday, Zaev said he had received a pledge that the German Bundestag will approve a start to North Macedonia’s accession talks in September.

“There is a strong conviction that we are starting EU accession talks this year,” the government in Skopje said in a statement. There appeared to be no confirmation from Berlin.

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