The president was criticized after she refused to pronounce the new name of her country

The president was criticized after she refused to pronounce the new name of her country

“North Macedonia”. It has been given this name since 2018, after an agreement with Greece. Sunday, during the swearing-in ceremony. The new president However, the head of state of the Balkan Peninsula did not pronounce the full – and official – name of his country… “I declare that I will exercise the office of President of Macedonia in a conscientious and responsible manner, (…) and that I will protect the sovereignty, territorial integrity and independence of Macedonia,” Jordana Siljanovska-Davkova told parliamentarians. In the text of the protocol that she had to say out loud, the constitutional name of North Macedonia is already in use.

The position of the new Macedonian leader – the candidate in the presidential elections of the VMRO-DPMNE (Nationalist Right) party – sparked a strong reaction from Greece. The Greek Foreign Ministry said in a statement that his selection is “a flagrant violation of the Prespa Agreement and the constitution of the neighboring country, which is in line with its international obligations.” The Greek ambassador in Skopje withdrew from the ceremony in Parliament in protest.

The European Union is angry too

To understand the case better, you should know that Scooby has concluded In 2018 A “historic” agreement with Athens, agreeing to add the geographical reference “North” to the name of the state to distinguish it from the Greek province of Macedonia. The aim was to put an end to the long-standing dispute with its neighbour, which was thus preventing its accession to NATO and its accession negotiations to the European Union.

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The agreement with Greece, which was opposed by the VMRO-DPMNE, allowed North Macedonia to join NATO in 2020. The EU also “regrets” that the new president did not use “the country’s constitutional name,” according to the press. Release his spokesman.

“For North Macedonia to successfully continue its path towards EU membership, it is essential that the country continues on the path of reforms and full compliance with its binding agreements, including the Prespa Agreement,” the European Commission President insisted. Ursula von der Leyen, shortly after sending the first congratulatory message on the social network.

Renewed tensions?

Gordana Siljanovska Davkova was elected on 8 May for a five-year term in the second round of the presidential election, defeating the outgoing Social Democratic head of state, Stevo Pendarovski, with 65% of the vote. This retired university professor, who celebrated her 71st birthday on Saturday, is the first woman to hold this position since the declaration of independence of this small Balkan country in 1991.

VMRO-DMPNE also came in ahead of the legislative elections, also held on May 8, winning 58 of the 120 seats in parliament by defeating the Social Democratic Union (SDSM). The return of the right-wing opposition to power threatens to revive tensions with Greece, but also with Bulgaria, which is setting its own terms to advance North Macedonia's EU accession negotiations.

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