Macedonian president criticizes EU's approach

"Macedonia is a textbook example of how (the EU) should not treat candidate countries," Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov has been quoted as saying.

Source: Tanjug
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He asked the EU Council, whose president Donald Tusk was visiting Skopje over the weekend, "to consider (EU) enlargement not only as a technical issue."

Ivanov, reports the time.mk website, told Tusk that his visit came "late" because "citizens are tired of the blockade of EU integrations and the indecision of the EU Council."

According to Macedonian media, Ivanov also "shifted the blame for the continued political crisis in Macedonia to the EU," and said he believed "the only way to overcome this crisis is for the country to start EU membership negotiations."

During his meeting with Tusk, the Macedonian president also criticized the EU for its attitude towards refugees as his country is suffering the consequences of setting of quotas, Greece's failure to register refugees, and of "unilateral decisions."

He noted that Macedonia did not receive funds for solving the crisis, "although those were promised on several occasions."

Tusk, writes the website, "promised assistance, pointing out what kind of assistance this was," and , "asked Macedonia to resolve the crisis with refugees."

"We are ready to provide much more once we receive the assessment of your needs from you. I will speak with member-states about what more can be done in this regard to ensure that our support to your country and the region remains at the same level as the challenges it is facing," said Tusk, and added that "our main goal is to reduce the wave of refugees, not merely to facilitate their transit."

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