Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis took to the stage on Thursday to address the 4th Thessaloniki Summit, sending a clear and stern message to neighbouring Albania and North Macedonia about their EU membership prospects.
“Good accounts make for good friends,” said Mitsotakis clarifying that he wanted to be honest and convey to the two neighbouring countries that the path to EU accession includes reforms that must be made.
The Greek PM addressed an audience that included the Prime Ministers of North Macedonia; Zoran Zaev and Bulgaria; Boyko Borissov, adding that “Albania should carry out an unimpeded and objective census, absolutely respecting the right to self-determination of the Greek ethnic minority and guarantee in practice their assets and rights, avoiding actions that undermine the rules of good neighborliness and rhetorical questions about non-existent issues.”
During his speech, Mitsotakis turned to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev whom he addressed as “Dear Zoran”, and referred to the Prespes Agreement saying “I want to be clear, again: We have to mitigate several negative repercussions of an agreement already signed.” This must be “done with realism and maturity,” he added.
Whilst addressing Zaev, he also took the opportunity to remind his audience of the new branding and logo for products of the Greek region of Macedonia.
“Greece has placed a priority on protecting the name and fame of Macedonia and its products.” He said that Macedonian producers faced unfair trade practices in international markets by competitors who illegally used the protected geographical designation of “Macedonia” by promoting the label “Wines of Macedonia”.
This “faux pas”, he said, must be resolved immediately in the context of the best implementaton of the Prespes Agreement, and the new logo presented the Greek side’s response.