Gruevski: Macedonia Ruling Coalition Doing Well

Macedonian Prime Minister and leader of the main ruling party VMRO-DPMNE, Nikola Gruevski, said that he was satisfied with the functioning of the partnership between the VMRO-DPMNE and its junior partner, the ethnic Albanian Democratic Union for Integration, DUI.

Gruevski said that communication with the DUI was “relatively good” and that both sides were engaged in constant dialogue.

“There are regular parleys with DUI president Ali Ahmeti and with other party members,” Gruevski said following a Monday afternoon meeting with the heads of other minor parties from the ruling “For A Better Macedonia” coalition.

Rumors of possible turmoil in the VMRO-DPMNE coalition started to spread after this month’s EU council meeting, at which Macedonia faced another Greek blockade due to the unresolved bilateral name issue.

High-ranking officials from both parties exchanged barbs in public over the failure to obtain the desired start date for EU accession talks.

Last year Athens also blocked Skopje from entering NATO, arguing that the country’s official name, Republic of Macedonia, suggests territorial claims on Greece’s northern province, also called Macedonia.

The PM failed to comment in detail on Ahmeti’s recent proposal that former EU foreign policy chief Javier Solana should be invited to serve as a mediator or advisor in resolving the ongoing name dispute that continues to stall Skopje’s EU and NATO accession aspirations.

“I haven’t heard all the details of the idea, but basically anyone who can help Macedonia is welcome”, Gruevski noted.

He once again rebuffed media speculations of early elections. “On the contrary, now we need to focus on meeting the rest of our [government] platform”, Gruevski said.

The country has clearly indicated that its goals of becoming a full-fledged NATO and EU member are its top priorities. The country was granted the status of EU candidate country in 2005 but only this fall fulfilled the reforms necessary for the start of its accession talks with the block to be recommended.

As for NATO, the member states concluded last year that Skopje meets all conditions and that its accession would be possible as soon as the name row is resolved.

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