Former FΜ Katrougalos: Delays in implementing Prespa agreement detrimental to Greek interests

Main opposition SYRIZA-Progressive Alliance foreign affairs chief George Katrougalos on Sunday criticised the government for delaying the ratification of three memoranda that formed part of the Prespa Agreement signed with North Macedonia, saying that the delay was detrimental to Greek interests and weakened the country’s diplomatic position.

In an interview with the Greek newspaper “Macedonia”, the former foreign minister accused the New Democracy government “of exercising foreign policy based on internal party politics,” and said that many members of the party still refused to use the term North Macedonia.

“It has delayed bringing to parliament the three cooperation memorandums that promote our national interests (one of which concerns the defence coverage of North Macedonia by our own forces) solely because of the internal opposition within the party and the reactions of its nationalist wing. It is implementing the agreement incompletely, again to the detriment of our national interests in other crucial areas. There are, for example, great delays in the operation of the committees for school books and brands. Irrefutably, this contradictory stance weakens Greece’s position diplomatically, as well as the levers of pressure on the neighbouring country and the possibility of approaching it,” he said.

Commenting on the kit worn by North Macedonia’s national team in the Euro championship, he said that the Prespa agreement called for the country’s national team to use the constitutional name of the country but North Macedonia’s prime minister had already said this publicly, admitting the error of his earlier statements.
“I consider the issue to be over, therefore. But those who continue to be opposed to the agreement, even today, should consider what name and what kit the country’s team would be using without it…”