Italy strongly supports Macedonia's aspiration to join EU
Rome, November 23 (MIA) - I will be one of the main promoters Macedonia to acquire a candidate status for the European Union membership at the Summit in December, Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said Wednesday in Rome at a meeting with Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski.
"You enjoy our full support as the country has done a lot for the last few years. I promise that we shall work for Macedonia to acquire the candidate status at December Summit, as we did for the (European Commission) Opinion," Berlusconi said, pointing out that the place of all Balkan countries is in the Union.
Crvenkovski and Berlusconi expressed satisfaction with the good bilateral relations, which present a solid foundation for further boosting of the overall cooperation.
The economic cooperation between both countries will be certainly intensified when Macedonia becomes a candidate country for the EU membership, Berlusconi said.
Macedonia's road to the EU was also a subject of discussion at Crvenkovski's meeting with Parliament Speaker Pier Ferdinando Casini.
They tackled Skopje-Athens dispute over Macedonia's constitutional name, which for Italy is just a bilateral matter that should not burden the country's EU agenda.
In regard to the economic cooperation, Casini said Italian companies were interested in the Balkans, where Macedonia should be one of the main investment destinations.