North Macedonia eyes EU membership after election of new leader; Greece to offer conditional support

Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated the new Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovacevski, on taking office, during a phone call on Monday.

Mitsotakis reiterated Greece’s support in the EU accession process for the Western Balkans and North Macedonia in particular, in accordance with the established criteria.

He added, however, that the support is directly linked to the full, coherent and good faith implementation of the Prespes agreement, which is part of the accession process.

The two sides expressed their intention to strengthen bilateral relations on several fronts and to collaborate, especially in the economic and trade sectors.

North Macedonia’s parliament has elected Dimitar Kovacevski as prime minister of a Social Democrat-led government after two months of political crisis.

The new coalition cabinet, made up of Kovacevski’s Social Democrats and two ethnic Albanian parties as junior partners, won the Jan. 16 vote 62-46 in the 120-seat legislature.

The center-right opposition party VMRO-DPMNE voted against, demanding early elections to give legitimacy to any government.

Kovachevski, 47, was Deputy Finance Minister in the previous government of Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev.

Zaev resigned after his party’s poor performance in local elections last October.

Kovacevski said his government would focus on economic growth, resolving the country’s energy crisis and promoting North Macedonia’s bid for European Union membership.

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