New Democracy (ND) will not ratify the protocol for the accession of the Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM) to NATO under its new name of Republic of North Macedonia because “this is the final act of an agreement that is damaging for the country”, party leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said on Friday, addressing the plenary of the Greek parliament.
Mitsotakis also said that the Prespes Agreement, which his party rejected, far from being a balanced agreement, is an arrangement between the government and the result of a political quid pro quo. The agreement, resolving the name issue, was signed between Greece and FYROM in June 2018.
The main opposition leader also argued that the agreement goes against a standing national strategy, according to which Greece never accepted another country’s monopolizing of the term “Macedonia” and never recognized the existence of a separate “Macedonian” ethnicity.
For his part, Mitsotakis said, he does not ever intend to say the phrase “I welcome the Macedonian Prime Minister to the country.”
He continued by accusing Tsipras of hypocrisy for referring to ND as a far-right party, when from the beginning of his term and until recently SYRIZA was in coalition with the populist far-right which Independent Greeks (ANEL), the party of Panos Kammenos, represents.
Mitsotakis then stressed that, in principle, ND never objected to the neighbour country’s accession to NATO but it does object to granting it a “Macedonian” identity, ethnicity and language in the process.
In conclusion, Mitsotakis reiterated his position that ND will not renounce its right to veto the accession of FYROM in the European Union, and his call for national elections immediately.