admin1 – November 10, 2006 – 2:29pm

More than 500 members of five youth organizations protested on the streets of Skopje yesterday, demanding liberalization of the visa regime. They were joined by a few members of the Union of Young Forces of VMRO-DPMNE.

Under the motto "Visa, forget about it", the young people opposed the long procedures for obtaining visas, the high prices of the visas, and the unfulfilled promises for liberalization of the visa regime.

"It is my right to travel and move throughout Europe without visas. The long procedures of the visa regime lead toward ghettoization," Leon Bakracevski, president of the AEGEE student organization, said.

He stressed that this street campaign did not have any political background and that the VMRO-DPMNE members only wanted to express their support.

"All members of this party, young and old, support this protest. We will push the Government to be more committed toward securing liberalization of the visa regime, "Aleksandar Nikolovski from VMRO-DPMNE said.

The street campaign started in front of the government building and it continued in front of the Office of the European Commission, where the organizers of the protest issued "visas" for entry into the EU at an improvised border crossing. EU Ambassador Erwan Fouere did not come out in front of the Office of the European Commission.

This campaign was organized by the international youth organizations AEGEE-Skopje and JEF Macedonia, the Union of High School students of Macedonia, the Youth Education Forum, Balkan Idea, and the Alliance of Scouts. Similar protests were also held in Brussels, Belgrade, Nis, Ankara, Istanbul, Edinburgh, Riga, Berlin, and other European cities yesterday.