"I am frightened, I am breaking inside...’
Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Zoran Zaev, fears that dramatic events will follow in the region after the EU snub, Plus Info reportsSource: Tanjug
"I am breaking inside", Macedonian Prime Minister says in an interview with US paper "New York Times".
This magazine reminds of the fact that only two months ago, the leader of the small Balkan nation of North Macedonia was riding high, feted by world leaders, praised by the head of United Nations for offering a rare bright spot in an otherwise troubled global landscape and on the shortlist for a Nobel Peace Prize.
"Prime Minister Zaev had staked his political career and his country's politics on resolving a three-decade-old dispute with neighboring Greece over his country's name. And through often torturous diplomacy, and against great odds, he had succeeded", NYT says.
As New York Times states, the change of name was expected to clear the way towards joining EU, but last month France vetoed those discussions, arguing that the process of enlargement needs to be rethought.
That abrupt decision turned the Macedonian government into turmoil, and more ominously, it is shaking up the status quo in a region where an uneasy peace has existed since the end of wars in former Yugoslavia, NYT concluded.
“That destroyed me personally, psychologically ... I am broken inside", Zaev stressed, adding in an interview that he is concerned "not only for himself but for the stability of the entire Western Balkans".
"Nationalism and radicalism can rise again. There is a risk to open conflicts inside of the countries again. Also to open conflicts between countries again", Zaev said. When asked why he decided to call early elections, Zaev said that he had no choice.
"If we do not go on early elections, nationalism will rise. I am devastated", Zaev concluded in the interview for "New York Times".
“That destroyed me personally, psychologically ... I am broken inside.”@MarcSantoraNYT interviews North Macedonian PM Zoran Zaev, who changed his country’s name on the promise of EU membership — only to be blocked from applying. https://t.co/kTas97CVEN— Patrick Kingsley (@PatrickKingsley) November 20, 2019