PM Mitsotakis: EU accession path for western Balkan countries includes reforms

PM Mitsotakis: EU accession path for western Balkan countries includes reforms

"Good accounts make for good friends," Prime Minister Kyriakos Mitsotakis said addressing himself to North Macedonia and Albania with a Greek saying, in an address at the 4th Thessaloniki Summit on Thursday.
As Mitsotakis clarified, he wanted to be honest and convey to the two neighboring countries that the path to EU accession includes reforms that must be made.
Addressing an audience that included the prime ministers of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev and Bulgaria Boyko Borissov, Mitsotakis noted 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."
He added that he had met in Athens on Wednesday with representatives of the Greek ethnic minority in Albania and was briefed directly about their problems.
Turning to Zaev, whom he addressed as "Dear Zoran", the Greek premier referred to the Prespes Agreement and said, "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.
Speaking about an earlier presentation of a new unique logo for products of the northern Greek region, Mitsotakis said, "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.
New Macedonian logo
Prime Minister Mitsotakis said that "producers in Macedonia will embrace" the trademark logo of Greek products from the Macedonia region in northern Greece, presented by the president of the Greek Exporters Association (SEVE) Giorgos Konstantopoulos on Thursday, on the sidelines of the Thessaloniki Summit 2019.
Mitsotakis added that "I had committed to managing the negative repercussions of the Prespes Agreement by supporting the professionals of northern Greece, so that we could establish a unified collective identity making products of Macedonia stand out from now on."
He noted that the new logo, which will "refer to Greece's glorious past and pave the way for a brighter future," will be immediately submitted to the European Union Intellectual Property Office (EUIPO) for registration so that it may be "added to Macedonian products and services across the world."

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