North Macedonia eyes EU membership after new leader elected; Greece to offer conditional support

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Greek Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis congratulated North Macedonia's new Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski on the assumption of his duties, during a phone call on Monday.

Mitsotakis reiterated Greece's support in the EU accession process for the West Balkans and North Macedonia in particular, as set out on established criteria.

He added however that the support is directly linked to the full, consistent and good-faith implementation of the Prespes Agreement, which is part of the accession process.

Both sides expressed their intention to boost bilateral relations on several fronts and to collaborate, particularly in the economic and trade sectors.

North Macedonia’s parliament has elected Dimitar Kovacevski as prime minister of a Social Democrat-led government after two months of political crisis.

The new coalition cabinet, composed of Kovacevski's Social Democrats and two ethnic Albanian parties as junior partners, won the January 16 vote 62-46 in the 120-seat legislature.

The center-right opposition VMRO-DPMNE party voted against, demanding early elections to give any government legitimacy.

Kovachevski, 47, was a deputy finance minister in the previous government of Social Democrat leader Zoran Zaev.

Zaev resigned after his party’s poor performance in local elections last October.

Kovacevski says his government will focus on economic growth, addressing the country's energy crisis, and advancing North Macedonia’s bid for European Union membership.