July 4, 2012 – Washington, D.C. – The Cypriot EU Presidency Agenda was released on Monday, listing EU Enlargement in the Western Balkans as a top priority, but deliberately failing to mention Macedonia as one of the candidates for EU membership. As Cyprus takes over the day-to-day tasks associated with the EU Presidency, they also announced their full intention to seek a large bailout package from the Eurozone, to save the ailing Cypriot economy. This self-serving move, combined with an obviously anti-enlargement stance in Southeast Europe, is sure to challenge any countries that were hoping for a functional, progressive and fair European agenda over the next six months.
Macedonia has been an EU candidate since 2005. The country has received recommendations to start negotiations from the EU Commission and EU Parliament for the last three years in a row, however the Cypriot Presidency decided to ignore the country completely. “The whole EU is feeling the fatigue of destructive nationalist politics from Cyprus and Greece. It’s time for these two countries to leave their 19th-century mentalities behind, and deal with the real issues facing Europe in 2012,” said UMD President Metodija A. Koloski. “This includes fair treatment for Macedonia.”
UMD Chairman Stojan Nikolov added: “By ignoring the candidacy of the Macedonian people, Cyprus and Greece are conspiring to create an artificial instability in the region. So, not only do they have no shame about sabotaging European policy on Macedonia, they are both eager to extort enormous handouts from the hardworking European taxpayers in countries like Germany. With friends like these, who needs enemies?”