North Macedonia’s parliament has approved a new coalition C abinet led again by the Social Democrats, with two ethnic Albanian parties as junior partners

SKOPJE, North Macedonia — North Macedonia’s parliament on Sunday approved a new coalition Cabinet led by the Social Democrats, with two ethnic Albanian parties as junior partners.

Kovachevski said he will focus on dealing with economic insecurity exacerbated by the pandemic and steep rises in energy prices.

“The effects of the pandemic and the energy crisis remains a major challenge for the economy … The government will devise an intervention plan to support the population and the economy to deal with the consequences of the energy crisis…and protect citizens from price shocks”, Kovachevski told parliament.

During his term as prime minister, Zaev secured North Macedonia’s membership in NATO after ending a decades-long dispute with Greece over the country’s name. But he was unable to deliver on European Union membership, largely due to a historic dispute with another EU neighbor, Bulgaria.

Kovacevski said he will intensify talks with Bulgaria in a bid to let North Macedonia formally start EU accession talks, but will not negotiate any identity issues. Bulgaria wants North Macedonia to recognize that the Macedonian language has Bulgarian roots, and that the Macedonian nation was created after World War Two.

Bulgarian Prime minister Kiril Petkov is scheduled to visit North Macedonia on Tuesday.

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