Zoran Zaev denied the reports that seven EU member states were opposed to the opening of accession talks with Macedonia. Zaev used a street slang word to ask the critics of his Government not to “grumble” after his failure to win approval for the opening of EU accession talks.
He initially announced that he will resign and call for early elections if Macedonia is not invited to open accession talks this summer, but has since backpedaled on this and is attempting to portray the outcome as success, claiming that the date will definitely be approved in October.
Let’s be happy for this success together. Why grumble? We did a lot of work in the past period. We were told in October. It is important that we have this conclusion, which serves as a serious guarantee for us all. We now have a fully unconditional recommendation, after we accomplished our reforms. Let’s not play games. No country was opposed. All citizens should be happy, Zaev said during a press conference today.
Zaev described the attitude of EU member states as such: he declared France as restrained and asking for more time. The Netherlands said that it expected the adoption of the law on the Special Prosecutor, but overall didn’t have a negative position. Greece, Austria, Slovenia, Slovakia, Luxembourg, Hungary, Romania, Malta and the Baltic states were strongly in favor. Bulgaria was very positive, Zaev added.
He added that he has understanding for the procedures required by the German Bundestag to approve the opening of accession talks, but underlined that “we need a serious guarantee”. Zaev went on to describe the outcome as a “100 percent shining report” based on “full implementation of targeted reforms”.
According to the new timeline, Zaev hopes that chapters will be opened in December, and that all NATO member states will ratify the accession protocol by the end of the same month.
Instead of the announced early elections, Zaev said that he will now propose a reconstruction of the Government, with the proposals submitted to the Parliament by Friday and a vote early next week.