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Announcement by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the result of the referendum in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia

Sunday, 30 September 2018

Greece is following closely, albeit from the appropriate distance, the developments in the friendly country of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia and remains committed to the Prespa Agreement.

The result of the referendum in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, though it is a consultative referendum and not part of the binding clauses of the Prespa agreement, is contradictory: A strongly predominant “Yes” without the corresponding participation; a large part of the neighbouring country’s society supported the agreement.  Yet, an important part approached it with scepticism. Greece respects the choices of the citizens of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Greece believes, in general, that the climate of nationalism and suspicion, of daily fake news and rampant fanaticism, unfortunately do not allow for a sober assessment of the great benefits of the Agreement, while hindering the mutual understanding of peoples and the development of their cooperation, that are essential.

Extreme and aggressive forms of nationalism in our region, irresponsible behaviours on what concerns the region’s future and, getting caught up in irredentist stereotypes - when history should be a school and not a prison- do not provide positive prospects for the region in general.

The need for equitable cooperation is more and more felt in the region, as is the need for a culture of democratic dialogue to prevail, as well as for a culture of understanding and just compromises. The objections to the Prespa Agreement proved to be untrue and incorrect.

The next steps forward require sobriety by all sides, without exception, for the positive momentum of the Prespa Agreement to be preserved.

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