Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis repeated his position that there should be no uncoupling of Macedonia and Albania in their push to open EU accession talks.

This move could undermine Macedonia’s request to open the accession talks in October, given that the resistance to opening talks with Albania, including from Greece, remains significant. Mitsotakis insists that Greece now supports Macedonia in opening the accession talks, but at the same time opposes Albania, at least until this country gives additional minority rights to ethnic Greeks living there, and opposes the uncoupling of the two.

We agree with the position that is prevalent in Europe that there should be no decoupling, Mitsotakis told the Greek press in New York, where he attends the UN General Assembly.

Albania faces opposition from the Netherlands, France and Greece, because of the significant corruption levels and the on-going political crisis, while Macedonia is mostly mentioned as a problem only by France. But, coupling the two countries could drag Macedonia down with Albania, especially as a major corruption scandal develops around the Zoran Zaev Government.

Albanian politicians have threatened with an outburst of nationalism and a possible push to unify with Kosovo, which would certainly affect inter-ethnic relations in Macedonia as well, unless they are allowed to open EU accession talks.