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Macedonian Reforms ?

(WEBPUBLICA) New York/SKOPJE – Zoran Zaev has decided to step down three months before voters head to the polls. The PM had become increasingly isolated following a French-led EU refusal to begin accession talks with the Balkan country, DW News reported quoting other media sources.

Mr. Zaev was leading political force in resolving the state name issue changing it to North Macedonia, reaching compromise with his Greek counterpart, also former prime minister of Greece Alexis Tsipras. They both were even nominated for Nobel peace award for resolving 25 years old dispute between Skopje and Athens, but both pad highest political price for their engagement. Zaev was hardly criticized by Macedonian nationalists for accepting the state name change. His political future remains in limbo, until the new election in Northern Macedonia scheduled for this April, Webpublicapress reported from New York.

North Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev (DW/P. Stojanovski)


French role and Macron’s ill-fated veto

North Macedonia’s prime minister, Zoran Zaev, handed in his resignation on 3, January 2019. with a caretaker Cabinet set to assume control in order to organize the country’s elections, due to take place on April 12. Lawmakers accepted Zaev’s decision without debate.

Read more: North Macedonia’s PM: ‘If the nationalism returns, we’ll lose decades’

The Balkan nation is still reeling from the European Union’s decision not to consider membership talks, as both North Macedonia and Albania were blocked by France, with support from the Netherlands and Denmark, in October last year. French President Emmanuel Macron said the accession process itself must first be reformed before accepting new members.

State of flux after EU snub

This prompted Zaev to call for April’s snap elections. Joining the EU was a key goal of Zaev’s administration. The decision not to begin the accession process left the 45-year-old, who assumed office in 2017, frustrated as he expressed his “disappointment and outrage.”

Read more: EU’s broken promises in the Balkans lead to rocky road in 2020

The snub from the bloc came despite the compromise Zaev agreed with Greece of changing the name of his country, adding the qualifier “North,” appeasing Athens in the process.

Oliver Spasovski, North Macedonia’s interior minister, has been nominated as caretaker prime minister in the wake of Zaev’s resignation.

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