Zoran Zaev’s visit to France was an opportunity for another exercise in linguistics. Zaev’s prowess in Serbian and English is already legendary, but in France, it is required to utter at least a few words in broken French before switching to (Tarzan) English, which Zaev did after his opening remarks in Macedonian.

Mercu.. Merci beacoup Monsieur President, Zaev said at the end of his brief joint remarks with Macron in front of the Elysee Palace.

On a more serious note, Zaev thanked Macron for his open support for Macedonia in opening its EU accession talks. Macron single-handedly sunk Zaev’s hopes in 2019, when he vetoed Macedonia and nipped in the bud the idea of decoupling it from Albania. At the time Bulgaria still hasn’t solidified its determination to veto Macedonia’s accession talks. This year, with Bulgaria doing the vetoing for him, Macron was cavalier and invited Zaev for a photo-op, ten days before the European Council meeting and its uncertain outcome.