VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski said that the new coalition agreement between Zoran Zaev and Afrim Gashi, which includes a provision that the Government will reopen a number of ethnically divisive criminal cases – one of which was adjudicated twice already – is proof that the Zaev regime is habitually interfering in the decisions of the judiciary.

The interference in our of the separate branches of Governments by the executive is absolutely unacceptable. This only shows that for years on end we’ve had influence exerted over the judiciary – an issue we often raised. It is now confirmed with this coalition agreement. To make matters worse, the demand is that the European Commission gets involved in this interference. It is absolutely the last thing the EC should do, Nikoloski said.

Regarding the long delayed opening of EU accession talks, which is currently being blocked by Bulgaria, Nikoloski said that if Macedonia had built a functional economy and a working system of the rule of law, it would’ve been a welcome addition to the EU.

We need to be fair and read the EC reports to the end. There is deep concern expressed there about the level of corruption, the rule of law, the economic situation and public administration reforms. If Macedonia had done its homework, if we were ranked 30th or 40th in fighting corruption, instead of 111th, if we didn’t have interference in the judiciary, if the economy was better, we would have been allowed to open accession talks long ago. But we do not meet these conditions, and, to speak frankly, many in the EU actually approve of what Bulgaria is doing to us, because it relieves them from the guilt, Nikoloski said.