Zaev: Great injustice has been done to us

North Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev during his address on Saturday called for early parliamentary elections after the country did not receive a date for opening EU accession talks.

North Macedonia didn’t get a date for talks with the EU because the union has its own issues to resolve, but “we did it all, and we should keep motivated” to continue forward to Europe, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev addressing the nation.

“A great injustice was done to us in Brussels,” PM Zaev said, calling the EU’s refusal to start talks a “historic mistake.” However, he added, we also have to take responsibility for our own decisions, which we have been making for our citizens and the future of our country.

Considering the seriousness of the moment, a serious decision was in order, Zaev added. “Convinced as I am that every politician has to be responsible, honest, and virtuous, I am holding myself accountable for disappointing my people.

“I stand before you and say it clear: The European dream of the Macedonian nation will not be shattered. The European dream of the Macedonians, Albanians, Serbs, Vlachs, Turks, Roma, Bosniaks, and all others living in our country will not be shattered.”

“That’s why, my dear citizens, I responsibly stand before you, asking you for your say.

“We have no time to lose,” Zaev said. “I propose organizing a snap election. An election where you’ll have your say in the way our country should take.

“And this is what I’ll propose at tomorrow’s leaders’ meeting at President Pendarovski’s.”

“We shouldn’t lose hope,” he said, adding that entering Europe was not North Macedonia’s goal for anything other than because of its values. “Because our children will feel like European children. Twenty-seven leaders were in favor. I believe France will correct its stance.”

Asked about people getting discouraged, Zaev reiterated that people shouldn’t give up, adding that the reforms are scheduled and ongoing and that the EU was the only right way to go.

‘We’ll become a member and contribute towards it. We’ll shine our own sun.”