Gruevski: Greece wants us to change the name of our state, nationality and language

Gruevski: Greece wants us to change the name of our state, nationality and language

Prime Minister of FYR Macedonia launches accusations against Athens of trying to block EU integration: “Consensus is not possible because Greece wants us to change the name of our state, nationality and language. We have said it since 2005 that every solution or compromise on the name must go through a referendum where people will have their say”

PUBLISHED: 10:55, 17 December 2013 | UPDATED: 12:46, 17 December 2013

Skopje, December 17, 2013/ Balkan Independent News Agency

Prime Minister of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski accused Greek authorities on Tuesday of blocking the process of integration in the European Union. Mr. Gruevski said that Skopje is ready to start negotiations for EU accession, but this is up to other parties in this process.

The prime minister has made a declaration on integration a few moments before the meeting of the Council of Foreign Ministers of EU member states, which is expected to vote today on the draft-conclusions on FYR Macedonia.

Pro government media in Skopje have reported that no date for the launch of negotiations on accession is expected to be given.

Mr. Gruevski declared that one of the reasons for this is the Greek blockade and the system that NATO and EU have whereby consensus is needed to decide on all issues. If a country doesn’t agree, then the votes of all other countries are not valid, because the country that refuses has the right of veto.

“We will continue with new reforms and we will always be ready to become part of NATO and start negotiations for the accession in the EU, even when they are ready to accept us and ready to decide. Consensus is not possible as a result of Greece, which wants us to change the name of our state, nationality and language”, declared Mr. Gruevski.

According to him, every solution offered on the name dispute must have the approval of the citizens through a referendum.

“We have said it since 2005 that every solution or compromise on the name must go through a referendum where citizens will have their say”, said Gruevski.

According to him, the other side, implying Greece, is not focused at all and is dealing with its own problems. Taking this into account, said Mr. Gruevski, knowing the situation, the European Union is not putting pressure on Athens to accept a compromise on the issue of the name dispute.

Skopje will not be give given a date for the start of negotiations on accession

Pro government media in Skopje reported today that the EU Council of Foreign Ministers will decide once again not to issue a date for the start of negotiations between FYR Macedonia and EU on the issue of accession.

The conclusions that have been drawn require from Skopje to make more efforts in the aspect of good neighborly relations, to find an acceptable solution on the name dispute and to implement the political agreement reached in March of this year for dialogue between majority and opposition.

The conclusions also express the EU concern over the freedom of speech and the situation with the media.

Pro government media in Skopje have quoted deputy prime minister and Foreign Minister of Greece, Evangelos Venizelos, which according to them, will stick to the previous positioning of blocking Skopje.

Greek Foreign Ministry has delivered a press release where it informs about the Greek positioning in the EU Summit and its relations with neighboring countries, especially Skopje, whereby the same positioning which requires solution to the name dispute through concessions made by Skopje, is reiterated.

The issue of FYROM will be discussed in an analytical way today (17.12) at the EU Council of Foreign Ministers in Brussels. Greece will be represented by the deputy prime minister and Foreign Minister, Evangelos Venizelos. /ibna/