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Rama and Zaev, 'nationalism will take hold of the Balkans'

If the accession negotiations with the EU do not begin by autumn

20 June, 13:21
(ANSA) - BELGRADE, JUNE 19 - Albania's and North Macedonia's prime ministers Edi Rama and Zoran Zaev have warned against the strengthening of nationalist and populist forces in the Balkans if their countries are not given the green light by autumn to start accession negotiations with the European Union. Yesterday the foreign ministers of the European Union postponed until October the final decision on negotiations with Skopje and Tirana. Today the two heads of government said in an interview with the Financial Times that a failure to integrate the entire Balkan region could result in damage to the EU itself. According to the London-based newspaper, despite the positive recommendation of the European Commission, the opposition of France and Holland, in particular, might have caused the second postponement on the negotiations with Skopje and Tirana. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov told Le Monde he believes it is now up to the European Union to show the same courage that his country showed when it reached the name agreement with Greece a year ago. The EU, according to Dimitrov, "must give my country a chance by deciding on the beginning of accession negotiations. Neither more nor less. We deserve it".


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