Greek Foreign Minister Nikos Dendias said that Greece will use Macedonia’s EU accession process to pressure Macedonians to begin identifying as “citizens of North Macedonia”. The right wing Government of Kyriakos Mitsotakis wants to limit the use of the adjective Macedonian, which the Prespa treaty allows for ethnic Macedonians, but only qualified with the words “citizen of the Republic of North Macedonia”.

The other side should fully accept that the name of the citizens of that country is “citizens of North Macedonia”. This is in the implementation process which will move through the European perspective of our neighbor. We will try to amend that but I would be lying if I said I can amend the treaty in full, Dendias said.

Greece recently announced it will block Albania from opening EU accession talks, as the Government is getting tough toward its neighbors. Still, Dendias rejected the possibility that the Government will give up on the Prespa treaty, which it blames solely on the previous leftist SYRIZA Government, but insists is not going away so easily.

Our country has contractual obligations toward another country. The other country has contractual obligations toward us. I told Dimitrov that they must strictly abide to the treaty, to the last letter and punctuation mark, added Dendias.