During the meeting of the Parliament Committee on European Affairs, VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski said that Macedonia is not able to open its EU accession talks because of the rampant levels of crime and corruption. He dismissed the idea that Bulgaria is blocking Macedonia alone, and said that major EU countries agree with the idea that Macedonia is not ready to open its EU accession talks.

We don’t have a problem with the strongest EU member state. We have a problem with the weakest or the second weakest EU country. Bulgaria needs the EU far more than the EU needs Bulgaria. The EU has appropriate mechanisms that it, and its members, can use to pressure Bulgaria, if they are convinced that Macedonia deserves to open the accession talks. But, unfortunately, several large member states are not convinced that Macedonia deserves to open the talks, primarily because of the high level of crime and corruption and the lack of a functional rule of law system, Nikoloski said.

Speaking before some of the leading Government representatives, Nikoloski said that Macedonia will begin to turn things around in a matter of months, after the coming elections, which VMRO is favored to win. “My political opponents may mock me, but I’m convinced that in 6 to 9 months things will begin to be put in place in Macedonia, in fighting organized crime and in restoring the rule of law”, Nikoloski said.