The possibility that Macedonia will be allowed to open EU accession talks while Albania will be held back sparked angry reactions in Albania.
Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama wrote a testy tweet aimed at Macedonian President Stevo Pendarovski, who openly endorsed the idea of “decoupling” the two countries, and reminded him of the help Albania provided to get him and Zoran Zaev elected.
Some Albanian commentators are going a step further, announcing that if the country is blocked in its EU integration it’s best option will be to push for the unification of Albanians in the Balkans and the creation of Greater Albania.
If Albania and Macedonia’s bid for EU is decoupled, Balkans will change. Albanians might try some different integration. Create internal market, demand federalisation of Macedonia and Kosovo + Albania create a federal Union. What is left for Albania and Kosovo remains to be seen, is a typical such call, in this case issued by Albanian PhD candidate in Germany Abit Hoxha.
Other Albanian commentators like Agon Maliqi say that the decoupling means that Albania will never be invited to open EU accession talks. And former British Europe Minister Dennis MacShane attributed the decoupling idea to European “anti-Muslim ethno nationalism”.