EU gives 80 mln euro to North Macedonia to tackle energy crisis

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PRISTINA (Reuters) – The European Union pledged 80 million euros to North Macedonia to tackle energy crisis and it will help to build new generating capacities, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen said during a visit in Skopje on Wednesday.

“It begins with 80-million-euro grants for North Macedonia as immediate budget support. It will help address the impact of high energy prices on your citizens and on your business,” von der Leyen said during a joint news conference with Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski.

She said the Balkan country will get the funding by January.

“There are 500-million-euro grants for the whole (Balkans) region to invest in what is so necessary to get our (energy) independence, to invest in energy connections, energy efficiency and of course in renewable energy.”

Von der Leyen said all Balkan countries will be invited to buy gas on the global market together with other EU member states and will also benefit from reduced gas and electricity prices.

North Macedonia together with Kosovo, Serbia, Montenegro, Albania and Bosnia aim to join the European Union one day but before that and they are required to align their economy and politics with the bloc.

(Reporting by Fatos Bytyci; Editing by Sandra Maler)

Prime Minister of North Macedonia, Dimitar Kovachevski, on the right, and The President of the European Commission,Ursula von Der Leynen. EC Audiovisual Service

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