GREECE WANTS TO AMEND MEYERS REPORT
Athens wants to change the report of MEP Eric Meyer, in particular the paragraph urging Greece not to block Macedonia's EU entry bid, Utrinski Vesnik daily said on Thursday.
The paper says Greek Deputy Foreign Minister Yannis Valinakis traveled to Brussels Wednesday to meet MEPs of a relevant committee and other Members of the European Parliament (MEPs) who are supportive of Macedonia. He was vying for the support for Greece's stance on the name row.
Valinakis met with Doris Pacque, Ana Ibrisagic and Jelko Kacin, but it's not clear whether he managed to win their support given that the European Parliament is the sole site where Athens was defeated in its diplomatic battle with Macedonia.
Jelko Kacin, Slovenian MEP and rapporteur for Macedonia in shadow, told Valinakis that Meyer's report is a well-balanced, real and good and that Macedonia "must pull itself out of the spiral of populism and nationalism that threaten the country's international position and slow down its road to the EU," alluding that the current situation in Macedonia was prompted by Greek veto.
Kacin told Valinakis that Macedonia's EU accession talks must start as soon as possible, as it's the only way to give a positive signal of support to the country and ensure a different approach to development of good neighborly relations. He also made it clear that Macedonia must conduct flawless elections, otherwise, its EU's entry bid will be frozen.
A permanent lobby group of friends of Macedonia within the European Parliament was established Thursday.
Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki and Deputy Prime Minister Ivica Bocevski attended the group founding ceremony.