Mitsotakis: Skopje will have problems with EU and US if it does not respect the name "North Macedonia"

I want to once again send a warning message to the new government to change its position and to use only the name North Macedonia inside and outside the country, because otherwise it will certainly create problems in relations with Greece and in relations with Europe. This is what Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said in an interview with state broadcaster ERT.

Commenting on the statements of VMRO-DPMNE leader Christian Mitskoski, the Greek PM pointed out that these are "statements of the prime minister-designate" and he will wait for the official statements of the new government, but stressed that "the first examples of behaviour are extremely negative".

At the heart of the Prespa agreement is the importance that the name North Macedonia applies to all, that is, to be used both outside and inside the country, Mitsotakis said: "There is a clear regression on the name issue and I want to once again send a message of warning to the new government from now on to change its line, to respect the central provision of the Prespa Agreement, to use only the name North Macedonia inside and outside the country when it comes to our northern neighbour, otherwise it is certain that they will create problems, not only in Greece's relations with North Macedonia, but also in Europe's relations with North Macedonia, Mitsotakis said.

He also referred to the reactions from the EU over the use of the name Macedonia by President Silyanovska Davkova at the inauguration, revealing that these reactions "are the result of the interventions of the Greek government", that he personally intervened to inform the EU leadership and pointed to the reactions from the US.

"So I think that there will be collective pressure on the leadership of North Macedonia so that there will not be a significant regression," the Greek prime minister said.

In his interview with ERT, Mitsotakis outlined the government's next steps, as well as what he said yesterday from the rally in the city of Veria that the memoranda would not be ratified and that there would be problems on the country's path to the EU. "What we will certainly do is that we will not submit the three memoranda arising from the Agreement for ratification, and now our position to delay ratification is fully justified. We have been watching what has been happening in North Macedonia for some time, we have been listening to this nationalist paroxysm of VMRO, we knew that VMRO would win the elections and we also wanted to keep some basic negotiating weapons in case things did not go as expected, Mitsotakis said.

He also commented on SYRIZA's decision to table the three memoranda in parliament, saying it was "incomprehensible and bordering on political and diplomatic absurdity" for them to be tabled now when "Skopje is pursuing a completely different line". "The second thing we will do, which we have already done, is to make it clear that in this, I would say, long road of Skopje towards Europe, no progress can be made. if there is no absolute respect for the Prespa agreement on the name issue," the Greek prime minister said. /BGNES