Austrian Minister of Foreign Affiars Karin Kneissl told a press conference that despite the enlargement fatigue in France and Netherlands, Southeastern Europe should not be left in a vacuum.
“Despite EU enlargement fatigue that is felt in France and Netherlands, the Southeast Europe must not be abandoned,” Kneissl said.
At a press conference summarizing Austria’s activities during its EU presidency, Kneissl said she was pleased that new negotiating chapters with Serbia and Montenegro were opened during Austria’s presidency.
However, she made it clear it was not easy to secure support for the European perspective of the Southeastern Europe in the Netherlands and France.
“It is very hard to convince the Dutch or the French that the Southeastern Europe is a part of the continent, Austria’s Foreign Minister told the reporters.
Greek parliament speaker calls Prespa accord historic
The speaker of Greek parliament said the lawmakers should vote in favor of Prespes Agreement with a clear majority, because it is good for Greece, Serbian Tanjug agency quotes Greek media.
“It is good for the state and for the parliament to get a clear majority and I believe that such a majority has been secured already given the fact that Prespes accord is historically strong agreement,” Greek news agency ANA-MPA quotes parliament speaker Nikos Voutsis as saying.
Voutsis stressed that Prespes agreement, although it is not required by Greece’s Constitution, has to be adopted by an absolute majority of 151 MPs to add a clear strength within the state and also in the international organizations.
According to diplomatic sources, the ratification of Prespes accord has been put on the agenda of Greek parliament on 21 or 22 January.
Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras said earlier that after the ratification of Prespes treaty, the parliament will proceed with ratification of Macedonia’s NATO Accession Protocol.
Full implementation of Prespa Agreement, named after the bordering town of Prespa where it was signed, will begin after the Greek parliament ratifies both documents. The deal is intended to end a nearly three-decade-old dispute between the two neighboring countries over Macedonia’s name.
Greek parliament debates motion of co-confidence in Tsipras’ government
Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras is facing a parliamentary vote of confidence on Wednesday after his right-wing coalition partner quit in disagreement over a deal that aims to end a years-long name dispute with Macedonia.
The coalition governing Greece for the past four years crumbled on Sunday after Defense Minister Panos Kammenos, head of the Independent Greeks (ANEL) party, left the government, leaving Tsipras short of an outright majority in parliament and raising the possibility of a snap election.
Greek lawmakers will start debating the confidence motion on Tuesday, culminating in a vote late on Wednesday.
Syriza has 145 seats in the 300-seat chamber and the support of one independent lawmaker, so needs at least five more to win.
If he wins the confidence vote, Tsipras aims to bring the Macedonia name deal to parliament and to complete reforms before the election. Defending the name deal on Sunday, Tsipras said: “As a government we made the choice to lift the historical burden, to proceed assuming the political risk, and cost, of this process.”
Serbian police enforce tight security ahead of Putin visit, 7,000 policemen to keep him safe
Serbian authorities are busy preparing for Russian President Vladimir Putin’s arrival on Thursday, and the resulting traffic jams.
The authorities heightened security measures in Belgrade to safeguard Russian president along the route. Off the record, as many as 7,000 police officers, including secret service agents, have been tasked to keep Putin safe while visiting Serbia, Politika daily reported.
News reports say in addition to highest security measures in place, around 250 Russia’s elite special forces, including Putin’s personal security guards, have already arrived in Belgrade.
The official program of the visit has not yet been confirmed. It is expected, however, that Russian President Vladimir Putin will visit the government complex of the Palace of Serbia, the largest Orthodox Church of Saint Sava and the memorial to Russian soldiers in the Serbian capital.
Serbian army will also be engaged in security upgrades. Serbia’s three MIG-29 fighter jets will accompany Putin’s plane after it enters Serbia’s airspace.
- Region1 week ago
Greek priest beaten by two Syrians outside church in Athens
- Region2 weeks ago
Independent Greeks party to leave coalition if Prespa deal put to vote
- Region1 week ago
Refugees protest winter living conditions in Greek camp
- Macedonia5 days ago
It’s easy to say what’s good or bad when you’re 800 kilometers away, Jankuloska tells Gruevski
- Macedonia1 week ago
‘Makedonija blokira’ to rally against constitutional changes
- Macedonia1 week ago
Makedonija blokira: Traitors! Macedonian name not for sale
- Macedonia6 days ago
Two months later, Gruevski is still at large – who helped him escape?
- Region6 days ago
ANEL lawmaker hints at party exit from coalition government