By Antonis Anzoletou

Before Europe goes to the polls, the popular verdict of the neighbors to the north of the country will not leave the Greek side indifferent. The presidential elections in North Macedonia will take place in seven days from today, on April 24, while on May 8 the parliamentary elections will also take place. The data is very specific. Recently, the leader of the nationalist VMRO declared that the name of his country “will remain pure Macedonia”, while the presidential candidate of his party moved in the same line Christian Mickoski, Gordana Silianowska.

VMRO leads the way in the opinion polls with percentages about twice that of the social democrats. It is recalled that North Macedonia has been waiting for many years in the “hallway” of Europe. France and Bulgaria have successively blocked her way. What will happen if Mickoski takes the reins of the country? Based on their official pre-election program, it is certain that they will request a review of it Agreement of Prespa signed by Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev at Psarades in June 2018.

In order to elect a president of the Republic in the neighboring country, a percentage of more than 50% is required. A runoff between the top two is almost certain to occur. The second round of the presidential elections will coincide with the parliamentary elections. VMRO candidate Gordana Silianovska will go to the second round with a likely opponent of the current president Stevo Pentarovsky, which has the support of the ruling Social Democratic Party (SDSM). Mr. Pendarovski characterized a possible cancellation of the Prespa Agreement as the “greatest political folly and at the same time a tragedy”, because as he pointed out “we will be left all alone. It is no coincidence that all political leaderships have been systematically pushing for NATO membership for 30 years, the goal was to obtain permanent security.”

The agreement made almost six years ago is absolutely binding on the neighbors and cannot be changed unilaterally. The Greek side is clearly taking a wait-and-see attitude waiting to see the election results. Although VMRO has shown its intentions for years, it is not excluded that what is being said at the moment is “pre-election crowns”. There would be no pre-election comments from Athens that could be considered interference in the internal democratic processes of North Macedonia.

It is reminded that from the moment there are no required changes in the names of public documents and passports (which have not been completed) within five years, these will not be accepted in the EU. This deadline has already passed, and there is no possibility of an extension.