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North Macedonia:EU negotiations,debate resumed in Parliament

High tension, opposition protests. 'PM sells out country'

15 July, 14:28
(ANSA) - SKOPJE, 15 LUG - At the Macedonian Parliament in Skopje today, in a tense and overheated atmosphere, debate resumed on the amended French proposal aimed at facilitating the start of negotiations for North Macedonia's EU accession by overcoming the historical-identity dispute with Bulgaria. There are about 40 people registered to speak, and it is difficult to make predictions about the conclusion of the debate and the vote in the chamber, which will say a final word on whether the Paris proposal will be accepted or not.

That document has already been accepted by Sofia, which has lifted its veto on opening EU negotiations with Skopje, and also by the Macedonian government and president. Strenuous resistance continues, however, from the conservative and nationalist opposition, which considers the French proposal, even with the changes made, contrary to Macedonian national interests. This is why protest demonstrations continue in the capital, for which large police forces have been mobilized for the past ten days or so.

Even in Parliament, deputies from the conservative Vmro-Dpmne party, the largest opposition force, are contesting representatives of the ruling majority, obstructing their speeches with hostile chants and the sound of whistles and vuvuzelas. Premier Dimitar Kovacevski is called a 'traitor' willing to sell the country, its identity, history and language.

Yesterday in the Macedonian parliament, EU commission chairwoman Ursula von der Leyen had spoken, calling for a yes vote on the French proposal, which in no way jeopardizes Macedonian autonomy and national identity and allows for the rapid opening of accession negotiations for Skopje.

A simple majority in parliament, that is, 61 out of the total 120 deputies, is sufficient for the document's adoption. On paper the votes are there, but there is uncertainty about the numerous absences related to covid and other impediments.


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