• Thursday, 20 June 2024

Mitsotakis: Any deviations from Prespa Agreement to have consequences for bilateral ties, country's EU path

Mitsotakis: Any deviations from Prespa Agreement to have consequences for bilateral ties, country's EU path

Athens, 15 May 2024 (MIA) — Greece will not ratify the three memorandums of cooperation until North Macedonia fully honors the Prespa Agreement provisions; any deviations from it will influence the country's European path and bilateral relations, Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis told Greek Sky TV in an interview, МIA's Athens correspondent reports.

"Speaking of what we will do, I warned the new Government of Skopje, clearly stating that any deviations from the Agreement will have serious consequences on our relations with North Macedonia as well as on North Macedonia's path to Europe," Mitsotakis said.

He recalled his 2019 warning, as he described it, that "the ratification of the Agreement binds us to implement it in the future."

"On the attribute 'Macedonian,' this is unfortunately guaranteed in the Prespa Agreement and this was what we strongly disagreed with – the adjective 'Macedonian' nation and 'Macedonian' language instead of 'North Macedonian'," he said.

Commenting on the opposition party Syriza's decision on Wednesday to submit the three memorandums to the Hellenic Parliament for a ratification vote, the Greek prime minister it "really reached the limits of absurdity."

"I was impressed by the fact that yesterday Syriza rushed to submit the three memorandums to Parliament. Now when we see what we have suspected for a long time that the next Government may challenge the core of the Agreement, which is actually erga omnes, that is, one name for everyone. Now should we ratify the memorandums and lose every tool we have for negotiating with Skopje?" the Greek PM said.

He said Greece had been following the political developments in North Macedonia. They had realized that a new government would be formed and they were aware of the public discourse, which is why they had chosen not to ratify the memorandums, he said.

"We will not ratify the memorandums until we are absolutely convinced that the other side has complied with all the provisions of the Prespa Agreement," Mitsotakis said.

Asked about Greek Solution party leader Kyriakos Velopoulos tearing up the Prespa Agreement in Parliament on Wednesday, Mitsotakis said he did not want to comment on "the patriotic outbursts of Velopoulos, who has made his career on these issues" and stressed that the Greek citizens knew what "responsible patriotism is and who the real patriots are." mr/