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Mitsotakis Gets Behind North Macedonia's Hopes to Join the EU

Αssociated Press

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis, third right, and his North Macedonian counterpart Goran Zaev, second left, take part in a meeting at Maximos Mansion, in Athens, Thursday, May 13, 2021. Zaev is in Athens to attend the Delphi Economic Forum. (Dimitris Papamitsos/Greek Prime Minister s Office via AP)

ATHENS -- He condemned a deal that renamed the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) as North Macedonia and said he would make revisions but now Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis is on board to supports its hopes of joining the European Union.

That would be, he cautioned, only if Greece's neighbor lives up to the accord that was driven through a previous Parliament ruled by the Radical Left SYRIZA that gave away the name of Greece's northern province of Macedonia.

Some foreign media still refer to North Macedonia as only Macedonia, which had been the goal of former FYROM governments although much of the world even then referred to the country as Macedonia.

Mitsotakis said when he took power in July 7, 2019 snap elections in ousting SYRIZA that he would try to block agricultural products in North Macedonia calling themselves Macedonian because it would confuse them with Greek goods made in the real Macedonia, but didn't. 

Mitsotakis said after meeting North Macedonia's Premier Zoran Zaev that,  

“Respect for good-neighborly relations and the full, consistent and in good faith implementation of the Prespes agreement remain vital – as we have discussed,” referring to the name of the lake bordering the countries where it was signed.

These are the key indicators in our bilateral relations, but also for the prospect of your country joining the EU,” he added, said Kathimerini.