Greek PM Tsipras: Our neighbor meets the required criteria for starting the accession process

In an interview with ERT3, Greece’s Prime Minister Tsipras says the delay of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations is owed to the German Bundestag’s impossibility to give the green light “because of the summer break”.
“The delay of North Macedonia’s accession negotiations is not a result of the country’s failure to implement reforms, but mainly because of procedural reasons”, says Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras.

“As far as I could gather, the position of the EU leaders was that the accession process would begin in 2019, most likely in October, because our neighbor meets the required criteria and reforms. Of course, the start of the accession process does not mean membership. There is a long road ahead, lots of reforms and many chapters to open,” says Tsipras.

Referring to the Prespa Agreement, he says the name row settlement has increased Greece’s credibility , voicing assurance that “even the last Greek citizen who was against the agreement is now starting to realize its importance for our national interests”, supporting this argument with the fact that North Macedonia’s airspace is currently not overseen by Turkish F16 jets.

“I believe that all those opposing the deal and even calling us traitors now see its importance for the defense of our national interests. We now have a country-friend on our north border and our armed forces are there to support it,” adds PM Tsipras.