North Macedonia: name dispute reignites

Following the victory of the right-wing conservative VMRO-DPMNE in the parliamentary and presidential elections in North Macedonia, the country’s new president Gordana Siljanovska-Davkova has reignited the old name dispute. When taking the oath of office she used the old name Macedonia rather than North Macedonia, which has been the country’s official name since the signing of an agreement with Greece. Commentators call for a cool-headed approach.

RFI România (RO) /

Trouble ahead

The Romanian service of Radio France International fears further problems for Nato and the EU:

“A cancellation of the treaty would not only block any progress towards EU membership for North Macedonia, but would also face the Nato alliance with a complex question: What happens to a country admitted on the basis of an international agreement that it now no longer recognises? ... The EU could find itself with an additional source of instability in its own backyard.”

Ovidiu Nahoi
Kathimerini (GR) /

Refrain from stoking neighbour’s nationalist fervour

Kathimerini warns:

“Siljanovska appears to have chosen to take the risk of acting according to what her heart was telling her rather than what is required by her new title and office. She will soon be required to approve the constitutional amendments — vindicating Bulgaria and with Europe’s consent -recognising the Bulgarian minority in North Macedonia, another agreement the new president and her party have opposed. Regardless of what comes next, the signs sent by the new president in Skopje are anything but optimistic. ... Athens, for its part, should refrain from acting on impulse and stoking the nationalist fervour of the neighbouring country’s new administration.”

Stavros Tzimas
Efimerida ton Syntakton (GR) /

Mitsotakis to blame

Political philosopher Theodoros Georgiou writes in Efimerida ton Syntakton:

“The latest developments in relations between Athens and Skopje are dramatic. ... The Mitsotakis government, which has been in power since 2029, is responsible for the collapse of the Prespa Agreement. The policies created in the agreement for Greece to follow have made no progress. Not a single sentence of the three memoranda of understanding that followed from the agreement has been signed. The President of North Macedonia uttered an eloquent cry of despair in the face of Prime Minister Mitsotakis’ political negligence at her swearing-in ceremony. Both states must now reflect on their sense of national self-awareness in the global context.”

Theodoros Georgiou