First implementation of the reforms, then solving the name dispute, is the order of priorities for the country’s entry into NATO and the EU, according to VMRO-DPMNE deputy leader Aleksandar Nikoloski. In an interview with Radio Free Europe, he says a much better agreement with Greece can be reached than the one achieved by the current government.
Asked how progress will be made towards Euro-Atlantic structures if the problem with Greece is not solved, since after the Bucharest summit in 2008 it is clear that there is no progress without a solved name dispute, Nikoloski says the first pillar is reforms, and the name comes second.
– The first pillar is the reforms that must be done, the second is the name dispute. I am absolutely convinced that a better deal than this with Greece can be achieved. And I am absolutely convinced that if the Government had a different negotiating position, I could explain in which parts, that there would be a better deal. Firstly, you can not allow the Greek side to hire 60 international experts, primarily lawyers in international law and experts in international law, you to not hire anyone and ultimately hire just one. You can not go public with the tactics that you are going to negotiate and know the other side, you can not change positions every month and most importantly, you can not expect to reach an agreement and expect that agreement to bring you coverage for political problems at home, because in such circumstances the other side – let’s not underestimate the Greek diplomacy, it is very strong – knows all our weaknesses and strikes right there. I think that we can sit down and negotiate the agreement, because I think it is in the interest of Greece to solve this issue and I can not agree that the Greeks have no interest in resolving this issue, and we can absolutely achieve a better agreement, a deal that will not change the Constitution of Macedonia, says Nikoloski.