Reactions in North Macedonia to First Intergovernmental Conference for Skopje

President of North Macedonia Stevo Pendarovski extended his greetings to the citizens upon the first intergovernmental conference between Skopje and Brussels, which marks the start of the EU accession talks for the country. “Despite all challenges that we faced throughout the years, the citizens remained strong in the support for one of our greatest strategic goals as a state, becoming members of the EU. I express my gratitude to all current and former officials and politicians who have worked on this process, and now we need to remain united in the final stage of this road of Euro-Atlantic integration of ours. Let the European values of freedom, democracy, justice, diversity and prosperity become a fundamental part of our society,” Pendarovski said. SDSM also came out with an announcement, in which they congratulate all citizens upon, as they write, one of the greatest successes for the country in its history. “After long 17 years, the Council of Europe officially approved the start of the accession talks for our country. We start the EU accession talks, as Macedonians, with protected Macedonian language and identity,” write the greetings from SDSM. Greetings were also extended by the parties from the Albanian block. DUI Leader Ali Ahmeti said that official Skopje has made some rather brave and bold decisions in order to realise its strategic goals, and that they should now continue with even greater dedication to the processes for implementation of reforms. Alliance for Albanians Leader Ziadin Sela welcomed the start of the EU accession talks, pointing out that the membership of North Macedonia in NATO and in the EU are of great importance, especially for the Albanians in the country, and thanked all EU member-states for the support they provide in the process to official Skopje. Opposition parties VMRO-DPMNE and Levica on the other hand, voiced disappointment and dissatisfaction. “Starting from today, Macedonia is entering a very complex labyrinth where the history and the past will be much more important than the present or the future. Today the government starts the process for redefinition of our national history and identity in favour of the demands of Bulgaria. We shall save the photos from Brussels today, so that future generations can learn about the people who traded the identity of one country for their short-termed political careers,” said MP Antonio Milososki from VMRO-DPMNE. Levica Leader and MP Dimitar Apasiev addressed the situation via a Facebook status. “For a mere photoshoot of a fake conference, which does not exist in European laws, they betrayed and sold the people, their identity, their language, their culture. SDS is not a political party, but a medical diagnose,” Apasiev wrote.