Prespa Agreement Referendum

2020 December 15

The United States welcomes the results of the referendum of the Republic of Macedonia on 30 September, in which citizens expressed their support for NATO membership and membership of the European Union (EU) by accepting the Prespa agreement between Macedonia and Greece. The United States strongly supports the full implementation of the agreement, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU, thereby contributing to regional stability, security and prosperity. France hopes that the Greek Parliament will soon vote in favour of ratifying the agreement. On 20 June, the Prespa Convention was ratified by the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia and 69 deputies voted in favour. [55] The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party boycotted the parliamentary session and declared the Prespa Treaty “genocide of the rule of law”[56] and the “genocide of the whole nation”. [57] Prior to the Prespa agreement, international organizations provisionally designated the Republic of Macedonia as the “former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia” (sometimes abbreviated by “FYROM”). Last week, opinion polls showed that more than 65% of the population was against the ratification of the Prespa agreement,[100] while many popular Greek artists (S. Xarhakos, V. Papakonstantinou J. Kotsiras, etc.) agreed to a referendum.

[101] On 19 January, Mikis Theodorakis` editorial was published, in which he called the ratification of the agreement by Greek MPs a “crime” and called for a referendum on the agreement in Greece. [102] The international community reacted positively to the Prespa agreement[12] and the media called it “historic”. [13] [14] [15] [16] The European Union welcomed them and The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, tweeted his “sincere congratulations” to Tsipras and Zaev. “I`m crossing my fingers. Thanks to you, the impossible becomes possible,” he said. EU Foreign Affairs Representative Federica Mogherini and Johannes Hahn also congratulated the two Prime Ministers in a joint statement “that leads to this historic agreement between their countries, which contributes to the transformation of the entire region of South-Eastern Europe.” [17] [18] NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg welcomed the agreement and said it would put the Republic of Macedonia on the path to NATO membership. [19] In addition, British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson hailed the deal as “fantastic news.” [20] [21] “The agreement always confirms and strengthens Macedonian ethnic and cultural identity, Macedonian language, Macedonian nationality.

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