Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told PBS that his Government will collapse if Macedonia is not given an EU accession date this week. Zaev was interviewed by a PBS journalist in the run up to the crucial European Council where Macedonia and Albania expect to be allowed to open the accession talks, against opposition from France and to varying degrees the Netherlands, Denmark, and other countries.

– You got the EU flag up there?
– Yes, that is now in the next step. The European Union must make its decision. We make one on our side now they need to deliver.

The PBS journalist then notes that Zaev has a more “personal concern” with the date – and fears that another delay in the EU talks could lead to a backlash that will undermine his coalition in Parliament and cause his Government to fall.

– That’ll destroy your Government?
– Yes, completely. The majority will be dismissed.
– So the stakes are high?
– Yes, very high.

The US public broadcasting service notes that Zaev’s push to rename Macedonia was controversial and that the Government is recently faced with the Katica Janeva scandal, which shook the trust in the rule of law.