FYROM (Macedonian) PM Zoran Zaev is ready to make concessions “if Athens is ready to drop its opposition to Macedonia’s membership of the EU and NATO.”
This has been reported by the US website Politico, in an article dedicated to Zaev, and headlined, “Change of guard atop ‘disastrous’ Balkan state.”
In order to achieve his goal Zaev will need to solve the problem Macedonia has had since the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1991, namely, “Greece’s objection to the country’s name – as a region of northern Greece is called Macedonia, Athens argues that Skopje’s use of the name implies a claim on its territory.”
Macedonia’s previous government, led by Nikola Gruevski, “chose to defy Athens by ordering a huge makeover of Skopje with neoclassical facades and naming chunks of infrastructure such as the main airport and a highway after Alexander the Great,” writes the website.
But now Zaev says he is “ready to make concessions if Athens is ready to drop its opposition to Macedonia’s membership of the EU and NATO.”
“If the Greek side is really prepared to help us, we are prepared to think about everything that will be helpful. I am not fixed on any issue so everything is possible,” he is quoted as saying.
According to the article, Zaev “also wants to improve relations with Bulgaria by signing a ‘friendship agreement’ when Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov visits early next month.”
Macedonia, meanwhile, is described as being – “like most of its Balkan neighbors” – among Europe’s poorest, “and suffering from deeply entrenched organized crime, widespread corruption and weak rule of law.”