EU Calls on Macedonian Leaders to Reach Compromise

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | July 9, 2015, Thursday // 17:43
Bulgaria: EU Calls on Macedonian Leaders to Reach Compromise EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn (C), accompanied by Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski (L) and opposition leader Zoran Zaev (R), addresses the media in Skopje on 2 June 2015 following talks on resolving the political crisis in the country. EPA/BGNES

EU Enlargement Commission Johannes Hahn will visit Macedonia early next week in a bid to help government and opposition leaders reach a compromise on resolving the  political crisis, MIA reported on Thursday.

Zoran Zaev, leader of main opoposition Social Democrats, on Wednesday said that talks between Macedonian political leaders had failed and the party would not take part in the early elections agreed between the government and opposition leaders last month.

“The discussions between political leaders are at a critical juncture. The European Union expects all of them to behave responsibly and constructively,” the Macedonian news agency quoted European Commission spokeswoman Maja Kocijancic as saying on Thursday.

Recalling that the agreement signed on 2 June and confirmed on 19 June is the “basis for a final compromise”, Kocijancic urged Macedonian political leaders to implement the commitments they had made.

“Political energy needs to focus not on party political issues but on the reforms as outlined in the Commission’s recommendations,” she said, according to MIA.

The leaders of Macedonia’s four biggest political parties last month agreed to hold early elections by the end of April next year and implement a set of reforms including an amended election law, cleared voting lists, and measures ensuring that different communities are treated with respect.

The formation of an interim cabinet comprising representatives of the current government and opposition parties prior to the snap vote has been the key sticking point in the negotiations since  June. Zaev insists that the cabinel led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski should resign well before the election is held - a demand which Gruevski rejects.

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Tags: macedonia, Hahn, negotiations, talks, Zaev, snap elections, early elections, snap vote, Kocijancic,  European Commission 
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