Quarrel at EP over Macedonia

The last sitting of the European Parliament (EP) delegation in Strasbourg on Wednesday, held to work out the details around the meeting of the Joint Parliamentary Committee EU-Macedonia scheduled for February 18-19 in Skopje, ended up with a severe discussion, which looked like a quarrel between German and Greek MEPs.

The wish of committee’s chairperson, German MEP Jorgo Chatzimarkakis, not to discuss the name issue but country’s progress during the sitting did not last for too long, the newspaper comments.

Macedonian ambassador to the EU, Blemir Reka, presented Macedonia’s progress achieved between the two sittings of the committee. He remarked that Macedonia has met all conditions for launching the negotiations over country’s EU accession but it is still outplayed by the name dispute with Greece, which has turned into unwritten criteria, which may hamper the negotiations process. Reka said before the MEPs that under Article 11 of the Interim Accord between the two counties, Greece does not have the right to stop Macedonia’s membership in the international organizations.

“Greek MEPs Georgios Koumoutsakos and Anni Podimata, backed by Bulgarian Evgeni Kirilov, showing some constructiveness, required good neighborly relations several times, calling for Macedonia not to mount provocations against its neighbors. According to them, the name dispute is not a bilateral issue. Kirilov wanted to know which of the two counties is constructive and ready for a compromise, accusing Macedonia of non-observation of the human rights. Kirilov pointed at the Spaska Mitrova case as an example”.

German MEPs Michael Cramer and Martin Kastler, together with Romanian Monica Macovei, said that it is a bilateral issue, which cannot be understood by the other countries, but this issue is blocking Macedonia’s way to the EU and NATO, the newspaper writes further.

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