Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Greek Iefimerida Ton Syntakton that he will not run for President because he “doesn’t want to distract himself from the joy of resolving the name issue”. Still, Zaev said he remains concerned about whether the deal he concluded with Alexis Tsipras will be implemented, and tried to assure the Greek public that the deal will not be annulled after Macedonia receives its NATO membership.

I’m concerned for our Parliament, where it is up to the representatives, and for the two ratification processes in Greece, one to ratify the treaty and another to ratify our NATO accession protocol. My good friend Alexis and I decided to take the entire political risk upon ourselves, because we believe this is the right decision for our countries, said Zaev.

Zaev tried to assure the Greek public that once the decision to rename the country is made in Macedonia it will be forever. This is one of the large sticking points, with Greeks worried that a future Parliament will go back on the deal once Greece allows “North Macedonia” to join NATO, especially given the way in which the agreement is being ratified even after it was rejected by the voters in a referendum.

The process will be irreversible. There is no possibility to change the Prespa treaty. It will be ratified with a law and with constitutional amendments, said Zaev.