Nikola Gruevski sends letter to Greek PM urging him to end EU accession blockade

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has written to his recently elected Greek counterpart, Lucas Papademos, urging him to lift the three-year-long Greek blockade of Macedonia’s EU accession talks.

In the letter sent on Monday ahead of next month’s EU Council of Ministers meeting on December 9, Gruevski said a start to Macedonia’s EU accession talks would “help efforts to overcome the ‘name’ dispute” with Greece.

Noting that Greece has long advocated the faster EU accession of other Balkan countries, Gruevski said that “Greece can give a decisive contribution to the revitalization of the European integration processes in the region”.

Despite repeated recommendations from the European Commission, the EU has for three years declined to set a date for the talks, owing to a Greek blockade connected to the “name” issue.

Greece insists that use of the name “Macedonia” implies a territorial claim to its own northern province of the same name.

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