MIC – October 1, 2014 – 2:05pm

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov announced Tuesday the new composition of the Security Council, five months after his re-election as head of state and more than three months after the election of the new government of VMRO-DPMNE. The second partner in office, BDI, which refused to recognize President Ivanov's legitimacy, had no representatives to the Council, Utrinski vesnik reports.

In addition to Professor Veli Kreci, who was a member of the Council before as well, President Ivanov assigned two new members. In keeping with the regulations stipulating that the council members have to reflect the ethnic structure of the Macedonian population, Ivanov secured a seat on the Council to former PDSH Member of Parliament Flora Kadriu, and to Naser Sejdini, Deputy Chief of Staff of the Macedonian Army.

The other five officials whose membership of the Council is implied by the office they currently fill are Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the Ministers of Defense, Foreign Affairs, and Interior, Zoran Jolevski, Nikola Poposki and Gordana Jankuloska.

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MIC – September 30, 2014 – 2:04pm

Following Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos's address at the UN General Assembly on Saturday and his meeting with his Macedonian counterpart Nikola Poposki, the Greek Ministry of Foreign Affairs has been very active these days explaining the Greek position to the name issue with Macedonia.

In the latest press release from Venizelos's Office, it is stressed that Greece is not happy with the provisional reference of former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia either. The press release explains that Greece has been arguing for a complex name with a geographic qualifier that would precede 'Macedonia' rather than 'Republic' and that would be used everywhere, both at home and abroad. It is added that this position has been reiterated many times, both in Greece and abroad, and that is has been the basis for the Greek negotiator's involvement in the process of negotiation mediated by Mr. Matthew Nimetz. The press release then goes on to explain the Greek position to the provisional reference.

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MIC – September 30, 2014 – 9:12am

- Macedonia, as of Monday, is part of the EU Competitiveness of Enterprises and Small and Medium-Sized Enterprises Programme (COSME) with a total budget of 2.3 billion euros. Macedonian Economy Minister Bekim Neziri and EU Commissioner for Industry and Entrepreneurship Ferdinando Nelli Feroci signed in Brussels an agreement allowing Macedonia to join the EU programme for the period between 2014 and 2020.

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MIC – September 29, 2014 – 4:42pm

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski presented over the weekend the activities that his cabinet had carried out over the past one hundred days. His account largely focused on the completed economic projects, paying little attention to the political situation in the country, Utrinski vesnik reports.

The prime minister elaborated in detail 670 projects in the fields of business, infrastructure, social affairs, investments, etc, 116 of which he said had been fully carried out as 554 were in progress.

"Over the past 100 days, we have worked very hard, while thousands of people were included in the execution of our program at all levels," he said.

The prime minister stressed that attracting foreign investments was one of the most successful policies of the Government, praised the achieved economic growth rate and highlighted the heralded increase in the public sector salaries. He also talked about the measures for subduing unemployment, the benefits for the socially vulnerable categories of citizens, and the construction of the Demir Kapija-Smokvica, Miladinovci-Stip and Kicevo-Ohrid highways, while only briefly addressing the political crisis in the wake of the April parliamentary and presidential elections, which has had an effect on the international standing of the country.

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MIC – September 26, 2014 – 8:14am

- Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov on Thursday for the first time addressed the Security Council of the United Nations, convened by President Barack Obama for dealing with the growing threat of terrorism. In his address, President Ivanov linked stalled integration with the security situation in the region and urged the United States and the European Union not to leave vacuum in the Balkans. In this regard, President Ivanov requested respect to the resolutions adopted exactly by the Security Council for the dispute between Macedonia and Greece and to continue the integration of Macedonia as well as the rest of the Balkan countries.

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MIC – September 25, 2014 – 1:16pm

Although it was almost certain that SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE would issue a joint press release Tuesday saying they would resume talks, events took an unexpected turn. Despite all the attempts made behind the stage to renew communication, Renata Treneska-Deskoska from SDSM's executive board stated Wednesday that Parliament Speaker Veljanoski should verify the resignations of their MPs right away.

"The resignations of the opposition MPs were submitted to Parliament four months ago after Veljanoski and the government forcefully verified their legislative seats. The resignations are in his office and he should stop setting ultimatums. He does not have to wait until 8 October. He can verify our resignations right away if he feels like it," Deskoska said.

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MIC – September 24, 2014 – 1:18pm

The future Commissioner for Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn, wants to see progress in Macedonia's European integration. Once he takes over the job from Stefan Fule on 1 November, he plans to pay his first visit to the Republic of Macedonia.

High-ranking sources from the European Commission told MIA that as far as the enlargement negotiations portfolio is concerned, Mr. Hahn was most interested in Macedonia's case. He is said to have been surprised by the fact that the country has been a candidate member state for nine years and that it has been issued recommendations for opening accession talks from the EC for five years in a row but that talks have not yet started due to Greece's objection.

Although, due to the precedence the neighborhood policy is given over the enlargement negotiations, the first country that he is officially expected to visit is Ukraine, as far as his second task is concerned – EU enlargement – he is said to have expressed a wish to visit Macedonia in November.

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MIC – September 24, 2014 – 8:27am

- The recent statement of newly-appointed US Ambassador to Skopje Jess Baily during his nomination hearing in the US Senate – that Slavs and Albanians live in Macedonia, is a misunderstanding which came from journalists’ poor and incorrect reporting, stressed outgoing US ambassador Paul Wohlers. According to him, there is no such change in the politics of the US administration in terms of the ethnicity and identity of people that live in Macedonia.

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MIC – September 23, 2014 – 8:17am

- President Gjorge Ivanov kicked off his participation in this year’s UN General Assembly with a meeting with the Macedonian Diaspora in New Jersey. President Ivanov and first lady Maja Ivanova attended a ceremonious dinner organized by church Saint Cyril and Methodius in New Jersey.  In his speech before several hundred guests, President Ivanov pointed out that Macedonia continues facing denials and wrong perceptions.


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MIC – September 22, 2014 – 9:58am

- The Ministry of Foreign Affairs reacted to the improper use of the term Slavs by the new US Ambassador Jess Bailey at the hearing in the Senate in Washington. Due to this, on Monday, the US deputy ambassador will be called in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the discontent from this way of naming the Macedonian nation will be conveyed.

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MIC – September 19, 2014 – 9:59am

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Ankara on Thursday that Turkey was a true friend that Macedonia could always count on. President Erdogan said he was glad that PM Gruevski had been presenting Macedonia as an investment destination in Turkey over the past few days and stressed his support for Macedonia and its Euro-Atlantic aspirations, Utrinski vesnik reports.

"Along this path, you can find a friend in Turkey," he said.

Similar assessments came from Prime Minister Davutoglu, too. He deemed Prime Minister Gruevski's visit as important because it was the first visit of a foreign prime minister since his appointment to the new office.

"Our relations with Macedonia are good and friendly. Also, we have historical ties. These good connections have an effect on the economic and political relations as well," Davutoglu said at the press conference he held together with his Macedonian counterpart. "Turkey supports Macedonia's bid for joining NATO and the EU and we hope one day we will be in the EU together."

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MIC – September 17, 2014 – 8:14am

- Turkish businessmen are interested to invest in tourism, energy, metal and chemical industry in Macedonia. On Tuesday, after the business forum in Izmit, they held separate meetings with the government delegation headed by PM Nikola Gruevski. Following the business forum in Kocaeli, the government delegation continues the presentation of the conditions for doing business before the Turkish businessmen in Eskişehir, Ankara, Adana and Mersin. On Wednesday, a meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and with Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu is expected to be realized.

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MIC – September 16, 2014 – 12:41pm

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Macedonia and Serbia, Nikola Poposki and Ivica Dacic, signed the agreement on rational use of resources and sharing diplomatic missions and consular offices abroad in Skopje on Monday. The locations at which this cooperation will be carried out will soon be defined.

After meeting his Macedonian host, Minister Dacic said at a press conference that Macedonia and Serbia were friendly countries and that it was in their best interest that relations were promoted as much as possible.

"Serbia supports Macedonia's European future. This region has been unjustly underestimated for years and decades in relation to the other parts of Europe and therefore it deserves to be integrated into the EU as soon as possible," he said.

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MIC – September 16, 2014 – 8:05am

- Macedonia and Serbia are part of the global alliance that fights against terrorism and the Islamic radicalism but we must fight everywhere it appears and not only when it endangers the interests of certain countries. This fierce message to the Western countries was sent Monday from Skopje by Serbian Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said that we must together tackle the threat.

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MIC – September 12, 2014 – 10:58am

- On the occasion of the 20th anniversary since the establishment of diplomatic relations between the Republic of Macedonia and the Kingdom of Belgium, an exhibition of animated paintings was organized Thursday at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The exhibition was opened by Minister Nikola Poposki and the Belgian Ambassador to Sofia, Anick Van Calster attended it too.

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MIC – September 11, 2014 – 1:45pm

The constitutional modifications have to be a result of a political and social consensus, of a comprehensive analysis of how the legal system functions. They should not be partial and perhaps we should consider assuming an integral approach to changing the Constitution or drafting a completely new Constitution. Although being passed in the absence of the opposition, the modifications are legitimate for being proposed by the coalition that won the elections. These were some of the views expressed at Wednesday's expert debate organized by the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) concerning the government-proposed constitutional modifications.

MANU President Vlado Kambovski said the act of modifying the Constitution should be an act of broadest and possibly consensual choice of all political entities and citizens.

"I believe this act significant for the constitutional and legal order of the state and its social system should be an occasion for normalizing relations in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia so the proposed modifications would have full legitimacy and be a base for further talks," he said.

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MIC – September 10, 2014 – 8:23am

- Zagreb is unable to help Skopje solve the problem with Athens, said Croatian Prime Minister Zoran Milanovic after meeting with Macedonian counterpart Nikola Gruevski in Skopje, Tuesday and added that the most that can be done is for Croatia to remain a friend but not meddle in this issue. “We live in the present, I know this sounds like a phrase, but Macedonia is a small country that cannot represent a threat to anyone,” said Milanovic. Milanovic and Gruevski talked about enhancing the economic cooperation between the two countries, the trade exchange, tourism and infrastructural projects.


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MIC – September 9, 2014 – 8:26am

- The Republic of Macedonia is prepared to deal with the security challenges at a regional and global level, said President of the Republic of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, in an interview with Macedonian Television, on the occasion of the Independence Day. “Our entire region is drowning in a situation in which events which were unpredictable are happening. These are global threats. Our institutions are prepared to tackle these challenges,” said President Ivanov.

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MIC – September 5, 2014 – 12:51pm

The principles such as the rule of law, peaceful conflict settlement, self-determination right – in other to preserve their value – should be equally applicable for both the powerful and less powerful, stressed Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki at the NATO Summit in Cardiff during the session of contributor-states to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.

“It is good news that today Macedonia’s neighbors are no threat to the country and vice versa. On the contrary, we act together in promoting peace, cooperation and rule of law. However, the principles such as the rule of law, peaceful conflict settlement, self-determination right – in other to preserve their value – should be equally applicable for both the powerful and less powerful, those in and out of the club, or else they are not principles, stressed Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, head of Macedonia’s delegation at the NATO Summit in Cardiff during the session of contributor-states to the ISAF mission in Afghanistan.

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MIC – September 4, 2014 – 8:29am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki on Thursday within the frames of the NATO Summit in Cardiff will take part in the session dedicated to the Alliance’s engagement in Afghanistan. Minister Poposki, in Cardiff, will present Macedonia’s opinions in terms of the delayed membership since 2008 and the efforts that are invested in its realization.

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MIC – September 1, 2014 – 10:38am

Is it possible for Macedonia, following the March agreement, to get a new September or October agreement that would solve the political crisis due to the absence of the opposition in the Parliament? Or, as another meteor in the extraordinary political atmosphere, the messages of Angela Merkel “that the obligation of the government is to create conditions for including the opposition in the parliament where it should play its role and the opposition’s obligation is to show preparedness to do so” will burn, “Utrinski vesnik” analyzes. According to experts, the signal from Berlin is clear. This is, as they say, a milder pressure wrapped up in diplomatic vocabulary – the two sides to sit down at the same table and try to overcome the differences right in the period which is critical, before receiving the report of the European Commission. The political crisis, they assess, is becoming more complex and dramatic because the opposition gets firmer when its refusal to return to the Parliament is discussed but also because PDSH is seriously thinking about leaving the Parliament. Currently, there are only four MPs from the opposition who failed to respect the party’s decision for boycott. According to experts, the thing that is becoming a symbol of this time is the need for dialogue. They add that this is expected to be noted in the European Commission report.    

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MIC – August 26, 2014 – 8:16am

- Latvia remains to be a strong supporter of Macedonia's Euro-Atlantic aspirations, said Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki after meeting his Latvian counterpart Edgars Rinkēvičs in Ohrid. Latvia is going to chair the European Union in the first half of next year, which is a very important period for Macedonia. Minister Rinkēvičs also met President Gjorge Ivanov and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

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MIC – August 25, 2014 – 1:12pm

The summer vacation for the Macedonian MPs has ended. The parliamentary committees will begin debating Monday the seven draft amendments to the Macedonian Constitution that the Government provided a couple of months ago and the draft budget rebalance.

If the draft amendments to the Constitution are given a go-ahead by at least 62 parliamentarians at the plenary session Wednesday, a 30-day public debate will follow whereupon the Government will have to incorporate the remarks arising from the debate and resubmit the amendments to Parliament. The procedure of modifying the Constitution is expected to be over by the end of October.

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MIC – August 22, 2014 – 1:28pm

Over 5,000 teams will be in constant communication with every family in the country, while a central system of commissions will be formed to mirror the government ministries, follow everything they do and offer better solutions, measures and activities. The same concept will be applied at both the central and the local level. These are only parts of SDSM’s extensive strategy for non-parliamentary action which, according to leader Zaev, relies on four pillars and whose realization will begin right away, Utrinski vesnik reports.

Zaev informed at the press conference Thursday that the first pillar was named “We Are Working Together” and implied listening to the citizens about their needs and problems and jointly defining real and acceptable solutions. The second pillar is entitled “An Honorable Offer” and consists of uncovering new corruption affairs in top government ranks and keen observations of how every institution works. The remaining two pillars of SDSM’s new strategy are “Strong SDSM” and Partnerships for Democratic Macedonia”.

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MIC – August 21, 2014 – 12:29pm

Experts welcome the initiative of the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) for harnessing all the resources in developing a strategy on Macedonia’s future development voiced at the roundtable “Prospects of Development of the Republic of Macedonia in the Post-Crisis Period” held in Ohrid on Tuesday. Although the initiative comes more than two decades of Macedonia’s independence, they do not see it as belated yet are fully aware that its realization largely depends on the Government’s will, Utrinski vesnik reports.

Former ambassador Dimitar Mircev says he strongly supports MANU’s initiative for drafting a strategic platform for development.

“There have been two or three similar endeavors so far but they all failed. Such an idea existed at the time of the expert government of late Prime Minister Nikola Kljusev and a few years later he formed the Center for Strategic Development at MANU. However, I don’t know the reasons why this center, which was meant to serve this purpose, has never been put to effect,” Mircev says.

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MIC – August 20, 2014 – 11:21am

The Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts (MANU) organized a roundtable entitled “Prospects of Development of the Republic of Macedonia in the Post-Crisis Period” in Ohrid on Tuesday, at which stress was laid on the need of developing a strategy that would offer a vision of how Macedonia should look like in 10, 15 or 20 years and that would be drafted in cooperation with all scientific institutions in the country. This, however, the academicians added, is hard to achieve considering that only 0.2 percent of GDP is spent on science.

The academies of Bulgaria and Montenegro have already drafted visions of their countries entitled “Bulgaria 2030” and “Montenegro in the Era of Competitiveness” respectively. Macedonia, too, should develop a strategy for its overall development that would encompass all areas. The last time MANU developed an economic strategy was in 2000, Vlado Kambovski, President of the Macedonian Academy, said.

In Kambovski’s view, the numerous terms that are constantly used to describe various states in the country should be closely defined.

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MIC – August 19, 2014 – 12:43pm

A lot of things in terms of whether and how the political crisis in Macedonia could be resolved will become much clearer as of next week when the summer vacation of Macedonia’s top political figures comes to an end, Utrinski vesnik reports.

While waiting for the autumn, which is frequently regarded as a key period for political breaks and major events, various are the forecasts of the political analysts as to how the situation in the Macedonian political arena may further unfold. Will there be a political deal whereupon the opposition will return to Parliament or will the resignations of the opposition MPs be verified which would raise a new dilemma of how to fill the vacated seats?

However, whatever the outcome, hardly anyone believes that the political situation could suspend the EC recommendation for letting Macedonia open EU membership negotiations even though it is quite on the cards that the knotty political dialogue and the parliamentary crisis will be taken note of in this year’s EC report on Macedonia’s progress.

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MIC – August 18, 2014 – 1:25pm

Forty participants and 20 lecturers from Macedonia, Europe, the USA, Canada and China will be part of this year’s School for Young Leaders that will be held for the fifth time in Ohrid from 19 to 28 August at Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov’s initiative.

“Via the School for Young Leaders we invest in the knowledge of every young participant in the school yet our ultimate goal is developing team and leadership spirit. A team wins because of the concentration of knowledge, energy and motivation in it and because it is comprised of members of different backgrounds and talents. We want to invest in leaders separately yet it is just as important that we work on their team spirit,” says project coordinator Gordica Karanfilovska.

The lecturers in this year’s School for Young Leaders include former Serbian President Boris Tadic, Canadian Senator Don Meredith, the Vice President of the Chinese telecom giant ZTE Corporation, Xiao Ming, the founder of P World, Kosta Petrov, Imperial Prince and Archduke of Austria Karl von Habsburg, the Director for Account Service at Russell Public of the USA, Jason Miko, the former private secretary of Princess Diana, Patrick Jephson, former US President Ronald Regan’s assistant Mary Jo Jacobi, the director of Multimode Group, Tafsir Mohammed Awal, and law professional  Muhamed Mesic from Bosnia and Herzegovina, known for the fact that he speaks over 70 languages.

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MIC – August 12, 2014 – 12:13pm

Greece has never responded to any of the notes of protest that Macedonia have so far filed in protest against incidents happening either on the Greek-Macedonian border or on the territory of Greece in which Macedonian citizens were involved.

On the occasion of the latest incident with the video showing Greek soldiers in Cyprus calling insulting cadences about Macedonians, Albanians and Turks and how they would “suck their blood”, the Head of the Greek Liaison Office in Skopje, Theocharis Lalakos, was summoned to the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Monday afternoon to be handed a note of protest. The Macedonian authorities, however, do not expect a Greek response, Dnevnik reports.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs demands of the Greek authorities to take immediate action to condemn these incidents which are not in the spirit of the European values and standards and to make sure such uncivilized acts do not happen again. Mr. Lalakos was also handed a note of protest concerning the practice of the Greek authorities to put stickers on the Macedonian cars in regard to the use of the MK code on the Macedonian license plates.

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MIC – August 7, 2014 – 1:50pm

“We are aware that the next wave of enlargement will not be in two weeks, but somewhere around 2020 and Macedonia will use this period to solve the border problems, structural reforms and for use of the European funds for investing in the infrastructure,” Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki told daily Vest.

Commenting on the initiative of official Berlin to gather the leaders of the Western Balkan countries at the same table, under the auspices of Angela Merkel, Poposki said: “this confirms that Germany has not forgotten about the six Balkan countries that want to join the EU and we appreciate her interest to help us.”

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