Prime Minister Zoran Zaev campaigned in Shuto Orizari (Shutka) today, straight after his trip to Berlin, where he attended the Balkan summit and failed to bring back commitment from European duo Angela Merkel and Emmanuel Macron that Macedonia may open EU accession talks.

I bring news from Berlin. There will be EU accession talks, on top of the NATO membership. This means money, EU funds, system, perspectives. This is why all countries strive to become EU and NATO members, Zaev told his Roma supporters in Macedonia’s poorest shanty towns, which has already seen huge emigration levels toward the EU member states.

Zaev hoped to return from Berlin with a public commitment from Merkel and Macron to opening accession talks – the same talks he promised a year ago were certain to begin this June – but France remained determined against this and even published a new Balkan strategy which does not mention EU enlargement at all.

He asked them to vote for Stevo Pendarovski, warning that a vote for Gordana Siljanovska – Davkova would lead to new blockades in the process to rename Macedonia.