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Chancellor in Greece : Merkel's difficult Mission

The agreement on the settlement of the name dispute between Athens and Skopje is not directed to the words of the Macedonian government leaders, Zoran Zaev against third countries. This applies, in particular, for Russia, more stressed Zaev in an Interview with the Greek newspaper "Efimerida ton Sintakton". At the same time the head of the government before the "serious, existential threat warned" that if his country will still be excluded from Nato.

In June 2018 Zaev and his Greek counterpart, Alexis Tsipras had made a ground-breaking agreement, the meanwhile 25 years lasting name dispute between the two States to settle. They agreed for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia on the future of the name "Republic of Northern Macedonia".

The agreement should also open the door for the start of EU accession negotiations and Nato membership for Macedonia's open. Nato membership had previously been to Athens because of the name dispute has blocked. The EU and the US have expressed their clear support for the agreement on the name change. On the other hand, Russia rejects the Deal decided. In the name of agreement in Washington pushing for it, the influence of Nato in the Balkan region to expand, fears of Moscow.

In December, the Russian had criticized the foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, that the necessary reforms in Macedonia had only been with the help of "bribery" and "extortion" of parliamentarians decided. The agreement with Greece that Skopje must now make changes to the Constitution. In particular, provisions about certain territorial claims deleted. The constitutional reform is already underway and should be 15 to the. January will be complete. Thereafter, the agreement must pass through the Greek Parliament. The vote will most probably be held in February or at the latest in March.

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The Greek government spokesman, Dimitris Tzanakopoulos was already confident that the change of name of the neighboring country will be approved with a simple majority in the Athens Parliament, with at least 151 of the 300 votes.

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on the other hand have, however, announced that the main opposition party, Nea Demokratia, on the European level is part of the conservative European people's party and the Socialist party of Greece, that they will reject the agreement.

The conservative Junior coalition partner, the Independent Greeks, has also threatened to leave the government with the leading Syriza, should agree to the Greek Parliament the Deal. The party will, however, vote for a motion of censure. This will likely to be available from the Nea Demokratia introduced. The left-wing government Syriza party looks, however, are not likely to be overthrown: "It is unthinkable to lose the confidence of the house," assured Tzanakopoulos.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel (CDU) wants to visit next Thursday and Friday in Athens. Although Berlin has not officially confirmed reports in the Greek media that the name change will be part of their talks with Greek politicians. The Federal government welcomes, however, the agreement for the solution of the name dispute, strongly, and hopes that these decades can be solved for a long conflict finally.

The government in Athens expects that Merkel's visit (and the German approval for the agreement), the Nea Demokratia in a difficult situation will bring: The ND and the CDU/CSU are at the EU-level finally, the same political party.

From the point of view of the newspaper "Efsyn" for the conservative ND relatively easy to justify a rejection of the name change politically. A second vote on Nato membership for the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, to be held a few days later – is likely to cause the break up of the party, however, significantly more of the head, among other things, as you will be exposed to the pressure of the Nato partners.

Translation: Tim stone.

Published by EurActiv.

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Macedonia, Skopje, expected in 2019, the start of EU accession talks

Albrecht Meier

The daily mirror, and for the online political magazine EurActiv cooperate with each other.

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