ATHENS – The memorandums of cooperation with North Macedonia will be brought to parliament for ratification when “national interests and parliament’s programme permit,” Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said on Friday, replying to opposition PASOK-KINAL MP Giorgos Kaminis.
Dendias admitted that there had been a delay but also pointed to a “wider view of national interests, which every government has the right to adopt,” adding that they will be brought for ratification when the government judges this expedient.
Regarding the Prespa Agreement, he said that the prime minister had a “clear position”, which stated that “the government of Greece does not have the option of adopting a revisionist policy for agreements that [the country] has signed, irrespective of governments.”
He noted that Greece still had issues regarding the implementation of the agreement, where problems persisted, but his own sense was that the government in Skopje was making efforts in the face of “strong reactions from the domestic opposition”.
The PASOK-KINAL MP was highly critical of the delay in ratifying the three cooperation memoranda, however, saying that such a great delay and silence on the government’s part “could not be justified”. Since the country had accepted the Prespa Agreement, he added, such foot-dragging did nothing for its credibility abroad and allowed the other side to continue undesirable actions with respect to brand names and school books.
He attributed the delay to problems within the ruling majority, citing rumours that it could not muster sufficient support among its own MPs for ratification, which had turned foreign policy issues into fodder for populism and petty domestic political goals.