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Macedonia's political stalemate threatens EU accession chances

Europe
15.02.2013
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Brussels (dpa) - Political tensions in Macedonia are threatening its chances of launching accession talks with the European Union, the bloc‘s executive warned Friday, referring to an incident in December when the opposition was thrown out of parliament.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule had taken the unusual measure of cancelling a planned trip to Skopje next week over the country‘s political wranglings, his spokesman said.

"In the light of the current political impasse in Skopje, the commissioner does not consider that his visit at this particular time ... would be appropriate," said the spokesman, Peter Stano.

There had been an opportunity to take forward EU-mandated reforms in order to open up the possibility of beginning accession talks, Stano said, adding however that "the current situation is unfortunately putting this opportunity at risk."

He said the EU and its partners had previously expressed concerns over the events of December 24, when disagreement over the country‘s budget turned violent, prompting the opposition to boycott parliament.

Fule was "frustrated by the lack of progress in putting an end to the political stalemate" in Macedonia, according to Stano.

The European Commission called on politicians in Skopje to "take responsibility and find a solution demonstrating the maturity of the democratic institutions in the country."

In December, EU ministers said they would consider opening rapprochement negotiations with Macedonia in early 2013 if the appropriate reforms were implemented, a move that Fule described at the time as a "significant breakthrough."

Macedonia‘s EU aspirations have long been hampered by opposition from Athens due to a dispute with Greece, which has a province of the same name. dpa amh hm fxz Author: Helen Maguire

 

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