Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis pushes North Macedonia’s European hopes

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Greek Prime Minister Mitsotakis pushes North Macedonia’s European hopesKyriakos Mitsotakis is backing North Macedonia’s suddenly-stalled hopes of beginning European Union accession talks

THESSALONIKI- After ferociously opposing a deal in which the former ruling Radical Left SYRIZA gave away the name of Macedonia, Prime Minister and New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis is backing North Macedonia’s suddenly-stalled hopes of beginning European Union accession talks.

Mitsotakis said they would be contingent on North Macedonia stopping agricultural and other companies there from identifying their products as Macedonia, which has caused confusing competition with products from the real Macedonia in Greece.

Mitsotakis will stand with North Macedonian Premier Zoran Zaev in Thessaloniki, home of the real Macedonia and the seat of sometimes violent opposition to the deal and on the border with Greece’s neighbor, which had coveted Greece’s second-largest city, a major port.

The meeting is set for early evening on Nov. 14 on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki Summit 2019, a business event organized by the Federation of Industries of Greece where the Greek Premier is expected to say his country will offer technical assistance to help North Macedonia get into the EU, reported Kathimerini.

SYRIZA’s deal lifted Greek vetoes keeping what is now North Macedonia out of NATO and starting EU talks but despite Greek support, Zaev’s bid to get his country into the EU was stymied when French President Emmanuel Macron and two other EU countries rejected it for now.

That led Zaev to call early elections for April 2020 which he said could put the agreement in jeopardy, with Greece anxious that finalizing all the terms will be up in the air until after that, leaving some measures undone.

This will be Mitsotakis’ first meeting with Zaev since Sept. 24n New York, on the sidelines of a United Nations meeting. Ironically it was Mitsotakis’ father and former Premier, the late Constantinos Mitsotakis, who in 1991 first allowed the new country emerging from the collapse of Yugoslavia to take what was supposed to be the temporary name of The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM.)

But after successive FYROM hard-line governments started claiming Greek lands, history, heritage, and culture as their own, Greece put up the vetoes on NATO and the EU and the process stalled until SYRIZA leader Alexis Tsipras, as Premier, gave away the Macedonia name for virtually nothing in return.

Mitsotakis unseated the Leftists in July 7 snap elections on a platform that included opposition to the agreement but once in power said there wasn’t anything he could do apart from insisting on its implementation down to the letter.


RELATED TOPICS: GreeceGreek tourism newsTourism in GreeceGreek islandsHotels in GreeceTravel to GreeceGreek destinationsGreek travel marketGreek tourism statisticsGreek tourism report

Photo Source: Wikimedia Commons License: CC-BY-SA Copyright: SKopp

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