EU-Mediated Macedonia Crisis Talks in Vienna CancelledSoutheast Europe | April 21, 2016, Thursday // 18:48| views
EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn. Photo by EPA/BGNES
The EU-mediated meeting of Macedonian political leaders for resolving the country’s political crisis has been cancelled after the main opposition Social Democrats declined to attend, the EU mediators have said.
The meeting, set for Friday in Vienna, was called by EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn and three members of the European Parliament in a bid to ensure that Macedonian political leaders will continue to implement the provisions of the EU-brokered Przino agreement reached in June-July last year.
Zoran Zaev, leader of opposition Social Democratic Party of Macedonia (SDSM) has said he would not attend unless President Gjorge Ivanov repealed his controversial decision to pardon dozens of government and opposition politicians for their alleged involvement in last year's wiretapping scandal.
Zaev also demanded that parliament convened to push back the date for early elections set for June 5. Conditions for holding free and fair elections haven’t been met, Zaev has said.
"We deeply regret retrograde steps that move the country further away from its aspirations towards European Union accession,” Hahn and the three MEPs said in a statement on Thursday, according to MIA news agency.
“In the absence of any further progress, we are now forced to consider further actions to meet the requirements clearly laid out by the European Council, European Commission and Euripean Parliament."