Tsipras visit to North Macedonia seen as bridge building exercise by Skopje

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The impending visit by Greece’s Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to North Macedonia on April 2, was seen by the Government of Skopje as a positive move to building bridges between the two nations.

“Alexis Tsipra’s Skopje visit will show, in the most immediate way, how the two countries are building bridges for the future,” said Robert Popovski, North Macedonia Minister of Communications, Accountability and Transparency,

Popovski pointed out that both governments “showed for the first time the European way to deal with issues in the Balkans,” and that “the two prime ministers solved the issue without any pressure.”

“We would like to show that in Europe, nationalism causes great damage, which then takes decades or even centuries to redeem,” and went on to say, that after his recent Athens visit for an anti-disinformation conference on the Prespes Agreement, “the best weapon against fake news is the truth.”

Popovski said Greece and his country can help one another to find ways to disseminate true information on both sides through the media, and added that fake news and conspiracy theories against the ratification of the Prespes Agreement caused a substantial problem in Greece’s neighbour.

He did, however, say that this tactic “will not work because recent research shows people’s support for the Prespes Agreement, and even though it was quite low three months ago, now stands at 55%,” added Popovski.

He added that this not only reveals the friendship between the people of the two countries, but that the Prespes Agreement paves the way for the integration of the Republic of North Macedonia into the big regional coalitions, such as the EU and NATO,” said the minister.

“And this means a better life for the citizens,” Robert Popovski concluded.