Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Britain backs Macedonia's EU bid

Britain supports Macedonia's bid to join the European Union, but its EU integration process will depend on the pace of its reforms, a high British official said on Wednesday in Skopje, the capital city of Macedonia.

"We want to see Macedonia in the European Union, and it is clear that the sooner the required reforms are completed, the sooner it can join the EU," Jeff Hoon, Britain's Minister for Europe said after his talks with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Macedonia was granted candidate status in December last year when Britain was at the helm of the EU presidency.

The western Balkan country hopes to start entry talks with the EU next year and to become a full member by 2012.

Hoon and Gruevski also signed an agreement between the two governments on double taxation avoidance and protection from tax evasion of income tax and capital tax.

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