European corruption watchdog calls Macedonia 'disappointing'

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The Council of Europe's anti-corruption group says Macedonia's performance on preventing corruption is "clearly disappointing," and is calling on authorities to take action.

A compliance report by the GRECO group Thursday noted Macedonia "made no substantial progress" in implementing recommendations made over four years ago on preventing corruption among parliament members, judges and prosecutors.

Macedonia's conservative main opposition VMRO-DPMNE party on Friday sharply criticized the leftist government in response to the report. It said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev should know the country "would not get into NATO and the EU" unless it tackles crime and corruption.

After Macedonia signed a deal with Greece settling a decades-old dispute, the European Union indicated Skopje could start the accession process, but urged authorities to deliver results in reforms, particularly in fighting corruption.