Wednesday, 19 December 2018 | News today: 16

Another event with Prespa treaty supporters scheduled for Friday, as anguished professor video goes viral

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The third of the five debates to discuss the proposed amendments to the Constitution which will rename Macedonia into North Macedonia takes place on Friday at the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. So far only supporters of the deal have been invited to these debates, and today Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and Deputy Prime Minister Bujar Osmani will “debate” professors Vlado Kambovski, Svetomir Skaric and Taki Fiti.

At the event organized at the FON University on Thursday. Prime Minister Zoran Zaev promoted the deal he signed with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, saying that Macedonians will not be forced to assume the identity “North Macedonians”.

– After we complete the process for North Macedonia, we will have a piece of land for ourselves recognized by the entier world. Greece will respect our right to self-determination and will give us an opportunity to speak in the Macedonian language. The European Union will stop referring to us as “your country” which was a humiliation for all of us, Zaev said, adding that “neither I or my children will be called North Macedonians”.

This, and especially his previous statement that the Prespa treaty will allow Aegean Macedonians living in Greece to use the Macedonian language in public education prompted angry reactions from Greek politicians. Unverified reports in Greek media indicated that their Government is preparing to demand additional guarantees from the United Nations that Macedonia will not be able to use the Prespa treaty to reinforce its national identity. Greek Prime Minister Tsipras is scheduled to go to northern Greece, or Aegean Macedonia, to promote the treaty this weekend.

Professor Nano Ruzin, another of the supporters of the treaty who took part in the debate on Thursday, said that the treaty is an intelligent diplomatic move which will help Macedonia realize its top national interests, while another supporter, Temelko Ristovski, told Zaev that “all progressive forces should support the Government and this treaty”.

The one sided style of the debates had social media ridiculing the events, and a video of philosophy professor and left wing activist Katerina Kolozova has gone viral.

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In it, Kolozova, sitting behind Zaev, is rolling her eyes and making anguished looking grimaces while Zaev keeps reading from a prepared text praising the Prespa treaty.