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Politics

Mitsotakis Fires New Warning Shot at North Macedonia Over Name Game

ATHENS – Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis renewed his warning that North Macedonia’s path to European Union membership will be blocked if that country’s new leadership insists on using only the name Macedonia – an abutting Greek province.

North Macedonia’s President Gordana Sljaniovska-Davkova and Prime Minister-elect Hristijan Mickoski said while they will abide by a 2019 name deal with Greece in calling their country North Macedonia in international use they will use only Macedonia when speaking for themselves.

That’s in violation of the Prespa Agreement that’s name for the lake that is on the border of both countries, the deal struck by the then-ruling Radical Left SYRIZA over the objections of most Greeks.

While out of power, Mitsotakis’ New Democracy also denounced the agreement but agreed to ratify most of it after assuming office in 2019, but has held back on three articles and continues to do so over the name flap.

Greece also let North Macedonia enter NATO without an objection but the EU requires a consensus from its 27 member states and Bulgaria, also upset with North Macedonia, said it could also stand in the way.

Mitsotakis, while campaigning for his party for the June 6-9 European Parliament elections said that, “When you pull the rope you have to be ready to break it,” and said if North Macedonia “deviates from the agreed course the road to Europe will be closed.”

He added that the path “passes through Greece and through the observance of international law,” but  Sljaniovska-Davkova and Mickoski earlier said they would still call their country Macedonia despite his first warning.

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