Deputy Prime Minister Nikola Dimitrov made a theatrical intro in his remarks at the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe today. He began his speech with 16 seconds of silence – one for each year that went by since Macedonia was first named EU membership candidate, but wasn’t allowed to actually begin the accession talks.

You may think that these 16 seconds were long but imagine how long the past 16 years were for my country, Dimitrov said.
Dimitrov is one of the persons most responsible for the 2018 Prespa Treaty which, he assured the public, would open Macedonia’s

EU accession prospects. But in reality, the Greek veto was quickly replaced with a French veto, and now a Bulgarian blockade.