Republic of Macedonia
By George Gilson
Main opposition New Democracy leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis stressed his law and order platform, his opposition to the Prespa Agreement, and his opposition to pre-election handouts during the last two days of the European Parliament and local elections campaign in Florina and Thessaloniki.
In the presence of four presidents - Bulgaria, Albania, Kosovo and Serbia, and in the absence of the VMRO-DPMNE opposition, the new president of North Macedonia, Stevo Pendarovski, took office. There were also two former presidents of the state - Branko Crvenkovski - who rarely appeared at mass events and the former one - Georgi Ivanov.
Tomorrow morning Pope Francis will travel from Bulgaria to Northern Macedonia. About the moods in Skopje in the expectation of the Holy Father tells Eliana Dimitrova, journalist from the BNT.
Tomorrow at noon at Macedonia Square in Skopje Pope Francis will serve the Holy Mass. About 15,000 people are expected to attend, not only from Macedonia, but from Croatia, Albania, Kosovo.
Turkish Defense Minister Hulusi Akar's visit to Skopje on Wednesday, just a day after Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras was there with a large entourage of ministers and businessmen, is seen in Greece as an indication of Turkey's growing concern over Athens's new role in North Macedonia after the ratification of the Prespes agreement.
Environment and Energy Minister Yorgos Stathakis has said that despite the popular backlash from the Prespa Agreement, North Macedonia's EU prospects and course will serve to highlight the benefits of the accord.
Stathakis said it will take time for the positive repercussions of the agreement to become evident to the general public.