Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, after the leaders’ meeting last night, informed that the ballot question for the referendum will be – “Are you for EU and NATO membership by accepting the Agreement between the Republic of Macedonia and the Republic of Greece?”. He said that the referendum will be a consultative one and announced a new leadership meeting for Friday afternoon.

Zaev pointed out that he had spoken to the leaders of all parties except VMRO-DPMNE, whose leader Hristian Mickoski left the meeting after an hour from the start. He stressed that all those who remained at the leader’s meeting are for joining the EU and NATO and for a successful referendum as a process.

“We also discussed the direction in which Article 27 of the Referendum Law does not refer, according to which in conditions when Parliament has yet to make some extraordinary important decision on the future, it is necessary that the referendum be consultative in order for the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia to be consulted on this important a matter before the decision is made, and according to the agreement with Greece, that is the decision on constitutional changes”, said Zaev.

The decision, Zaev added, will be considered final if at least 50 percent of the total number of registered voters on the Voters’ List is issued at the referendum and will be binding for all political stakeholders in Parliament.

Regarding the date of the referendum, Zaev reiterated that it should be announced 60 to 90 days before it takes place, but added that the plan is somewhere in mid-January to be completed by all procedures in a successful referendum, which will allow Parliament in Greece to vote on the Agreement.

When asked about early elections, he said that elections are always an option, but they are not currently an advantage.

“We all know what elections mean, a few months of regression, and the trend is excellent in Macedonia because at this moment we have an invitation for NATO, we get a date for negotiations with the EU and we should be smart to use all of this for the economic standard of citizens, for investments, movements, and encouragement of the institutions – said Zaev, explaining that, according to him, it is necessary to go to regular elections.