• Wednesday, 19 June 2024

Greek media reports focus on "Macedonia", North Macedonia and Prespa Agreement

Greek media reports focus on

Athens, 10 May 2024 (MIA) – In analyzes of the May 8 elections in North Macedonia, the landslide victory of VMRO-DPMNE and the coming change of the political scene in the country, some Greek media focus on the use of the name “Macedonia” without the adjective North, the adherence to the Prespa Agreement and Greece’s position on the matter, MIA reports from Athens.

The daily Ta Nea writes that that Athens has been following the change of the political scene in Skopje with great interest. Greek diplomatic sources said the elections were a democratic process, whose results will be respected “whatever they are”, underlying that the quite undermining positions regarding the Prespa Agreement, which were publicly declared during the election campaign by the VMRO-DPMNE leader Hristijan Mickoski, have been noted and are not to Athens’ liking. 

Skopje’s obligation is to strictly abide by the Prespa Agreement, diplomats in Greece emphasize saying that North Macedonia is undoubtedly an important country in the wider region with which Greece wants to foster good neighborly and to support its European integration prospects, Ta Nea writes

Citing diplomatic sources from Skopje, the newspaper says they’ve rejected any possibility of VMRO-DPMNE endangering the adherence of what had been included in the text of the 2018 agreement between Greece and North Macedonia. 

“Whoever is in power in the country, the Prespa Agreement will be fully respected, sources in Skopje say adding it is no coincidence that the Prespa Agreement’s text contains no clause mentioning a deadline. ‘It means the Prespa Agreement was signed and it is here to stay,’” writes Ta Nea. 

On Sunday’s inauguration of the President-elect Gordana Siljanovska Davkova, Kathimerini daily says it could be the day when it would be evident whether the relations with Athens will continue to develop in a moderate climate or whether a new period of turmoil would begin with Skopje opening a new front with Greece amid the dispute with Bulgaria that has been threatening the European perspective of North Macedonia. 

“Since president is largely a ceremonial position according to North Macedonia’s Constitution, in normal circumstances Sunday’s inauguration would have been nothing more than a formal and perhaps boring procedure. It’s interesting now to see before which country Siljanovska Davkova will take oath: before North Macedonia - the constitutional name following the Prespa Agreement - or to a non-existing country ‘the Republic of Macedonia’, used during the election campaign by her and the party that backed her,” says the newspaper. 

Kathimerini also cites Greek diplomatic sources as saying off the record that the new government in Skopje has the obligation to fully respect the Prespa Agreement, which is an international agreement that is also a precondition for the progress of its European course.

Professor Constatinos Filis, an international affairs expert, has said that the relations between the two countries start from scratch. 

“This is the reality, because there is a government that is the enemy of the Prespa Agreement and has threatened it would try to torpedo it. This is not easy. We’re talking about an international agreement and such agreements can only be annulled after the two countries have agreed to do so. Greece could file a lawsuit against North Macedonia before an international court in the event of the obligations not being fulfilled or parts of the deal being circumvented,” Filis told Greece’s Antenna TV.