Speaking with the state owned MIA news agency from Athens, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski repeated his position that the eventual EU membership will be worth all concessions that Macedonia is forced to make – this time toward Bulgaria.

If we look at the economic effects of the NATO membership, we had the highest level of foreign investments even during a crisis year. The average salary rose the most ever as did the minimum wage, and retirement incomes are up 26 percent in a year and half. As for the EU membership, if we look at the countries that joined the EU, in the first five years from membership, salaries there rose between 70 and 100 percent, Kovacevski said, speaking after the meeting of regional leaders in Athens.

Kovacevski also insisted that Macedonia will not be forced to compromise with its identity to join the EU. “Bilateral issues are outside of the EU negotiations process”, he claimed. Meanwhile, Bulgarian officials continue to remind Macedonia that, to join, it will have to accept their demands included in the negotiating process, which cover the Macedonian national identity and history.