Greece punishes North Macedonia for prime minister’s tweet about soccer

Greece punishes North Macedonia for prime minister's tweet about soccer

postpones ratification of agreements with North Macedonia for the tweet of the North Macedonian Prime Minister about soccer.

The Balkan Observer writes about it.

Commenting on the national team’s performance at the European soccer championship, Zoran Zaev, head of the government of Northern Macedonia, called his country’s national team “Macedonian,” omitting the word “northern.”

Reacting to this news, Greek authorities announced that parliamentary ratifications of three bilateral memorandums of cooperation, scheduled for July, had been postponed until at least September.

Athens called on the North Macedonian prime minister to fully implement the agreements to rename the country in any context, including international sports competitions.

The ratification of the cooperation memoranda has reportedly been postponed so that Zaev “can understand that he has some obligations that he cannot ignore.”

“We demand full implementation of the spirit and letter of the Prespan agreement, and we urge Mr. Zaev to refrain from rhetorical deviations, especially in a matter as delicate as soccer,” said Aristotelia Peloni, a Greek government spokeswoman.

“The faithful implementation of the is one of the criteria for the country’s accession to the European Union,” she said.

As a reminder, in February 2019, Macedonia officially changed its name to North Macedonia at the request of Greece. Skopje agreed to the renaming in exchange for Athens to stop obstructing efforts to join and the European Union.

Earlier, the Greek authorities and the Greek National Football Federation complained to the European Football Association (UEFA) about the emblem on the jersey of North Macedonia.

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