Federal Foreign Minister Heiko Maas issued the following statement today (1 October) on yesterday’s referendum in the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia:
Even though many people would have liked to see a higher turnout, I am pleased that the overwhelming majority of those who did make use of their democratic right voted for the agreement with Greece. They want to see their country continue along its path towards the EU and NATO and the 27 year dispute between Macedonians and Greeks resolved. It is good that the agreement is now to be submitted to the Macedonian Parliament following the consultative referendum.
I call upon all political forces in Skopje and Athens to make the most of the opportunities offered by this historic consensus and to implement the agreement. It will strengthen good neighbourly relations between the two countries and foster stability in the Western Balkans. Furthermore, a crucial obstacle to EU and NATO membership has been removed.