The prime minister of Northern Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, said - as reported by the New York Times - that failure to start accession negotiations with the EU could cause dramatic consequences in the region.
The Times article
Zaev had focused his political career and the country's future on resolving the dispute of the name with Greece; and succeeded, with the Prespa agreement signed 12 June 2008. A historic turning point that should have opened the doors of the European Union to his country.
"The agreement on the name should have paved the way for negotiations with the European Union for Northern Macedonia, but last month France vetoed the start of negotiations by arguing that the enlargement process must first be revised."- reads the New York Times article that later reports the words of the Macedonian prime minister in a recent interview:
"All of this has destroyed me personally and psychologically. Nationalism and radicalism can rise again. There is a risk of reopening conflicts within countries. We are guided by the lights that have been provided to us by Europe. Now they have turned off the lights and left us in the dark. Who knows where we're going from here."- said Zaev.
Zaev: we want full membership
The Macedonian Prime Minister, at a recent demonstration of his party, also wanted to emphasize that no other alternative to full EU membership will be accepted:
"Our country is in the EU and we will not accept any other offer. The whole world speaks of us and of what we have done. We have fulfilled our duties and have earned the start of membership talks.
It wasn't really right for us after they made promises. But I want to convince you that this injustice against our country will make us rise again, because everyone is talking about injustice.
We want what we deserve, nothing else. We do not accept any other alternative, such as partnerships and economic projects. For us there is only full membership in the EU. - Zaev stated during the SDSM party demonstration in Prilep.