Parliament ratifies Agreement with Greece a second time, Muhić abstains

Skopje, 5 July, 2018 - 15:21 (META) 

With 69 votes “in favor”, one “abstention” and in the absence of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, Parliament voted a second time on the law concerning the ratification of the Agreement with Greece. The Agreement was reached by the Macedonian and Greek governments on 17th of June, in Prespa, and signed by Foreign Ministers, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, in his explanation regarding the Agreement, addressed the five points that President Gjorge Ivanov wrote in his letter to Parliament as arguments for not signing off on the law.

“The first point says that ideas and proposals that can jeopardize the Macedonian identity and language can not be accepted. I assure you that neither I, nor any member of this government accepts such ideas. The final agreement is quite the opposite. On the contrary, it reaffirms and strengthens the two as never before. In practice, the agreement will establish our identity and will overcome the situation of inappropriately naming the country and the people. In the second point, he quotes the Constitution; we owe it to ourselves to be honest. As the identity can not be defended by compromising it, the Constitution can not be defended by violating it. The president, in accordance with the Constitution, is obliged to sign off on the law”, said Dimitrov.
Analyzing one of Ivanov’s arguments, Dimitrov pointed out that until now the Parliament has ratified a total of 897 agreements, of which only five were signed by the presidential office. As for the last argument, Ivanov says the signing of the law is a crime, Dimitrov says he is “on the verge of spreading fear”.

“It is time to be courageous and responsible for all future generations to come. It is time to put the interests of the homeland first. Some have personal interests, others partisan, but now we must all unite in one common interest – the state”, added Dimitrov.

The only abstention came from the ruling coalition, MP Ferid Muhić.