French Ambassador to Macedonia Christian Thimonier said that he is “not an astrologist” while discussing whether Macedonia will be given a date to open European Union accession talks this summer. France is one of the most outspoken opponents of the proposal, even after the imposed name change.

Predicting about the date, I’m not an astrologist, but I will say that one of the conditions is to complete what was begun, the agenda 3-6-9, the agenda 18. We will wait for the European Commission report at the end of May and we will make an estimate on whether all the things that had to be done were done, Thimonier said.

The Zaev Government expected that, with Greek objections lifted, receiving the date to open accession talks will be a technicality and last year, despite the opposition from France and the Netherlands, Zaev declared that the talks will certainly begin in June 2019. But, with the fallout from the looming EU elections, French and Dutch politicians are adamant that nothing should be done that would upset their voters by bringing Macedonia and Albania, two poor Balkan countries with significant Muslim communities closer to the EU.

Ambassador Thimonier today acknowledged that the EU elections are having an influence on the decision making, but he touted the newly presented French strategy for the Balkans as evidence that the country is involved in integrating Balkan countries into the EU.