The recent days have seen mounting pressure on Macedonian opposition to vote on the agreement with Greece that would change FYRM name to the Republic of North Macedonia. EU enlargement commissioner, Johannes Hahn, in his message on Twitter has asked the Macedonian opposition and its leader, Hristijan Mickoski to offer their support on Prespa agreement. US senior official, Wess Mitchell, also wrote a letter to Mickoski expressing his concerns about VMRO DPMNE’s position on the issue, demanding he allow his party’s deputies to vote based on their personal convictions. However, the leader of VMRO DPMNE remains adamant the agreement with Greece is damaging and unacceptable stating the majority of citizens voiced their opinion on the issue at the referendum last month. What appears now, after the end of the third day of debates, is that Macedonian politicians are still nowhere near a deal. In a further blow, deputies from VMRO DPMNE today left the debate, showing that there are still not enough votes to change the constitution. It looks increasingly likely that Macedonia is heading for the early elections, probably in December. Even though the change of the country’s name is far from agreed, this morning the NATO website published an announcement that FYROM will begin formal accession talks at NATO headquarters, with the participation of the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence of the FYROM Radmila Šekerinska-Jankovska. The talks will last two days, covering various aspects of membership, including political, military and legal questions.
Exchange of views with Radmila @Sekerinska, Macedonian Minister of Defense. We both agree that Macedonians must take the path towards the EU, therefore a change of name is essential. pic.twitter.com/6y4Bi8wU4c
— Knut Fleckenstein (@knufleckenstein) October 17, 2018