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admin1 – July 23, 2014 – 8:25am

- Macedonia has officially become a full-fledged participant in the European Union “Creative Europe” programme. Andrej Lepavcov, Head of Macedonia’s Mission ot the EU in Brussels and Jan Truszczynski, Director general of the European Commission for Education and Culture, signed Tuesday an agreement on the country’s accession to the programme.

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admin1 – July 22, 2014 – 8:17am

- Office of the Hungarian National Trading House in Skopje opened Monday and Hungary’s Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Trade Peter Szijjarto said that Macedonia has recently yielded an exceptionally solid economic result and at the same time it offers a chance to improve the current cooperation, especially between small and medium-sized enterprises as a driving force to boost trade ties. The objective of this Trading House is to create more effective and better partnership between the companies. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said that the opening of the National Trading House was an additional confirmation of the excellent relations between both countries.

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admin1 – July 21, 2014 – 1:35pm

The European Commission is going to carefully analyze the constitutional modifications the Government has recently proposed to make sure they are in adherence with the European standards, said Peter Stano, spokesman for EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule. In a statement for the 24 Vesti television channel he said that while Brussels had had remarks about the reforms in a number of areas, it had never called for constitutional modifications.

The European Commission wants the constitutional modifications to be passed with a broad consensus as against the decision of the governing majority to initiate modifications to the highest legal act in the country at a time when the opposition is boycotting Parliament and will therefore not take part in the public debate.

According to Stano, Brussels is going to check whether the whole package of constitutional amendments is aligned with the European norms. However, according to experts, the EU is going to pay special attention to the definition of marriage as a community between a man and a woman and the formation of financial zones.

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admin1 – July 17, 2014 – 1:28pm

With 82 votes in favor of the present 89 Members of Parliament, the proposal for modifying the Macedonian Constitution passed Parliament Wednesday. The required two-thirds majority was secured with the 61 votes from VMRO-DPMNE and the 19 from BDI plus Cedomir Sazdovski from GROM and Mirsada Asani, a former member of RDK. Roza Topuzova-Karevska from LDP abstained from voting, while the six MPs of PDSH voted against.

Despite rumors that he may not appear at the plenary session Wednesday due to some internal disagreements, Hazbi Lika from BDI did attend the session voting in favor of the proposal.

The vote Wednesday was preceded by a heated debate between the MPs of BDI and PDSH who accused each other of neglecting ethnic Albanian interests. Rafiz Aliti from BDI said they had not renounced the idea of new constitutional modifications that would pertain to the way the head of state is elected, the manner in which the Constitutional Court passes decisions, and other demands to promote ethnic Albanian rights.

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admin1 – July 17, 2014 – 8:28am

- Macedonia has thus far donated about EUR 600,000 in finds and goods to Serbia and Bosnia and Herzegovina which were hot by disastrous floods last month. Macedonia’s government, civil sector and citizens immediately responded to the appeal for aid for Serbia and Bosnia/Herzegovina, Macedonian Ambassador to the EU Andrej Lepacov said Wednesday in Brussels at the “Rebuilding Together” donors’ conference for mobilizing further support to the Balkan states.

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admin1 – July 16, 2014 – 8:23am

- The unresolved dispute involving the name and identity between Macedonia and Greece is a burden for us, German Chancellor Angela Merkel said Tuesday in Dubrovnik at the Brdo-Brijuni Process meeting, which brings together heads of state or government from southeastern European countries. Merkel noted that Germany is ready for constructive cooperation to solve the issues and emphasized that nothing can be done without a compromise.

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admin1 – July 15, 2014 – 1:17pm

The USA is going to continue to support strongly the UN process for resolution of the name dispute so Macedonia may take its deserved place in NATO and the EU, said US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland after meeting Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Skopje on Monday. She also said the enlargement remained one of NATO's priorities, which was particularly true for Macedonia.

"The US strongly supports Macedonia and I was very pleased to hear today about the reforms the Government is carrying out and planning. Your prime minister confirmed that your engagement in Afghanistan will continue together with our own which is a forceful signal that Macedonia is an exporter of security," she said.

In regard to the political situation in Macedonia, she said the US supported the vision of an integrated Macedonia in which the Macedonian and Albanian communities live together in peace and prosperity.

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admin1 – July 14, 2014 – 1:07pm

The US Assistant Secretary of State for European and Eurasian Affairs at the US Department of State, Victoria Nuland, is paying a visit to Macedonia's capital Monday.

She is set to hold meetings with President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, and a few party leaders, at which some of the main topics to be discussed will be the situation in Macedonia, the country's European and Euro-Atlantic integration and the name dispute with Greece.

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admin1 – July 11, 2014 – 12:18pm

President Gjorge Ivanov condemned in Ohrid Thursday the violent protests that have been staged since the verdict in the Monster murder case was pronounced and appealed that all open issues be resolved institutionally.

"Protests are allowed everywhere yet violence cannot be tolerated. Our state has functional institutions capable of handling challenges. The relevant institutions take all that's necessary to prevent any form of violence," he said.

Appeals for peaceful protests and easing of tension came from all political and religious leaders in the country, especially after protests have been announced for Friday afternoon, set to begin following the prayer service in Skopje's mosques.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski appealed for peaceful protests again on Thursday and said institutions would not tolerate violence.

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admin1 – July 11, 2014 – 8:16am

- Macedonia's Ministry of Foreign Affairs summoned Thursday the ambassadors of Albania and Kosovo to the Ministry of Foreign affairs and presented them with notes of protest regarding some of the official standpoints and statements of the two countries related to the violent protests in Macedonia.

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admin1 – July 10, 2014 – 8:11am

- Macedonia deserves a membership in NATO and the United States is disappointed that the Alliance has still not opened its doors, said US Senator John McCain at the meeting with Defense Minister Zoran Jolevski. McCain’s stance is also shared by Congressman Mike Conaway who assured Jolevski that he will do everything in his power to contribute to Macedonia’s faster accession to NATO.  

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admin1 – July 9, 2014 – 1:07pm

According to the latest data posted on the website of the National Bank of Macedonia, FDI totaled 109.5 million euros in the first four months and over 90 million euros in the first three months of the year.  

Of the foreign investments of 110 million euros this year, some 77 million euros is direct investment and the rest is claims and liabilities of the firms to and from their mother companies.

The National Bank's table shows that foreign companies made most investments in energy, agriculture and pharmacy.  Almost 10 million euros were invested in the energy sector, over 3 million euros in pharmacy and over 4 million euros in agriculture.  

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admin1 – July 8, 2014 – 11:01am

Protests that are peaceful and through which citizens wish to win rights and to impose certain ideas are staged in every democratic country. They are supported and exert an influence. However, violent protests are something that nobody, in any country, including our own, can support, said Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Skopje Monday, answering reporters' questions in regard to the protests staged over the past few days against the life sentences pronounced last week for six defendants in the Monster murder case trial.

Prime Minister Gruevski said the state and its institutions were capable of dealing with such and much more unpleasant situations.

"The Ministry of Interior has done its job in the past few days very professionally and the authorities will not let the protests escalate to the point to threaten the interests of the citizens or the institutions," Gruevski said.

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admin1 – July 7, 2014 – 3:53pm

New hotels, restaurants, coffee shops, spa centers and beaches will be built in Dojran, Ljubanista, Otesevo, Stenje, and Kalista as of the middle of next year. New hotel complexes with abundant forms of entertainment will also be constructed in Berovo and Krusevo, as well as on Popova Sapka and Kozuv. All these projects have been envisaged in the initial plan for development of the tourist zones.
However, exactly what, where and how will be built will be proposed by the foreign consultants, that is to say, the Croatian company Horwath and Horwath Consulting with which the Ministry of Transport and Communications signed a deal on master plan development of 170,000 euros.  Under the agreement, by the middle of next year, the Croatian company needs to provide a detailed analysis, a plan and concrete proposals for development of the tourist zones in Macedonia. Based on those proposals, contracts with interested investors will then be signed.
Each zone will cover some 10 hectares as both domestic and foreign investors will have the right to build in them.  The number of facilities will depend on the investors' interest.  Government officials informed that most of the land in the zones is state-owned and so there will not be any administrative problems hampering the start of the construction activities. 

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admin1 – July 2, 2014 – 2:56pm

Macedonia and Japan have excellent political relations that should result in closer economic cooperation. In the course of the past two decades, since the establishment of diplomatic relations, the two countries have continuously promoted cooperation, said Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and his Japanese counterpart Shinzo Abe at their meeting in Tokyo Tuesday, Utrinski vesnik reports.

The two prime ministers also said they were very much pleased with the practice of holding meetings at the highest political level and said they would personally make effort to promote further economic relations, trade and cooperation in the area of investments.

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admin1 – July 1, 2014 – 1:29pm

The Criminal Council of the Skopje 1 Court of General Jurisdiction handed down life sentences to six defendants and acquitted of guilt one defendant in the Monster murder case on Monday. Alil Demiri, Afrim Ismailovic, Agim Ismailovic, Fejzi Aziri, Haki Aziri and Sami Luta were found guilty of murdering five men, four of whom boys aged 18-21,  at Lake Smilkovci on 12 April 2012, while Sejdi Rami was acquitted of the murder charges for lack of evidence.

The verdict against Alil Demiri and Afrim Ismailovic was reached in their absence considering they are serving time in Kosovo for illegal possession of weapons. However, the Macedonian public has not yet been told what prison in Kosovo they are being held. Former Justice Minister Blerim Bexheti refused for a whole month to sign the request for their extradition and provided it to the authorities in Kosovo on 20 December 2012, the same day when the trial in Skopje began.

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admin1 – June 30, 2014 – 12:59pm

Renaming the National Bank of Macedonia into a Bank of Macedonia,  defining marriage as a community between a man and a woman, introducing a constitutional appeal, raising the number of Judicial Council judges, allowing the Constitutional Court to decide on appeals against the Judicial Council's rulings, limiting the budget deficit at 3 percent of GDP and the public debt at 60 percent of GDP, introducing a possibility of forming a special financial zone, and turning the State Audit Office into a constitutional category are the eight alterations to the Macedonian Constitution that the Government proposed and presented at a press conference over the weekend.

"We have decided to put forward these modifications to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia in order to improve the work of institutions, introduce higher standards and ensure better conditions for economic growth and prosperity. We expect the broader public and experts to become involved in this process and with their substantiated arguments in favor and against to help us reach the best decision for the country and its citizens," Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said at the press conference.

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admin1 – June 30, 2014 – 8:08am

- Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, as of Monday, is paying a visit to Japan, the Republic of Korea and the People’s Republic of China. According to the government’s press-release, within the visit, PM Gruevski and a government delegation will realize political meetings with representatives of these countries and they will also deliver speeches at business forums organized by the ‘Financial Times.’

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admin1 – June 27, 2014 – 8:33am

- Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban received Thursday the “Goce Delcev” award which was presented by the United Macedonian Diaspora and he once again stressed the name talks with Greece cannot be a hurdle for Macedonia’s Euro-Atlantic integration.

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admin1 – June 26, 2014 – 8:09am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, who is taking part in the NATO meeting in Brussels, confirmed that the Macedonian army will continue participating in the NATO-led ISAF and post 2014 mission in Afghanistan and this is a strong argument on how absurd Greece’s policy of obstruction and disrespect of obligations is.

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admin1 – June 23, 2014 – 2:14pm

The leaders of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, Nikola Gruevski and Zoran Zaev, are going to meet Tuesday afternoon at the Parliamentarians’ Club in Skopje in a bid to prepare the ground for talks between the two parties for the purpose of overcoming the parliamentary crisis, Utrinski vesnik reports Monday.

VMRO-DPMNE are said to have agreed with the time and place Zaev suggested for holding his first meeting with Gruevski after the elections that complicated further the already strained relations between the two principal stakeholders on the Macedonian political stage.

Following the relatively peaceful weekend, Gruevski and Zaev’s Tuesday meeting will be decisive for how the situation created by SDSM with its refusal to recognize the results of the April elections further unfolds. It depends on the meeting Tuesday whether talks would begin between working groups of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM for the opposition MPs’ return to Parliament or whether the political and legal maze would get complicated further.

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admin1 – June 20, 2014 – 8:17am

- The Parliament elected Thursday the new government which has 26 Ministers seven of whom are ministers without portfolio and four are deputy prime ministers. In his address before the MPs, Nikola Gruevski congratulated the election of MPs and stressed that the new government team will be “a combination of youth and serious experience.” The main goals of the new government are: resumption of the reforms, increased economic growth and employment, Euro-integration, uncompromising battle against crime, sound inter-ethnic relations, the implementation of Framework Agreement and development of education.

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admin1 – June 19, 2014 – 1:46pm

The leaders of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, Nikola Gruevski and Zoran Zaev, are expected to meet Friday in an attempt to renew the political dialogue in the country and weather the post-election parliamentary crisis. Gruevski invited Zaev to a meeting Wednesday after a few hours earlier the Parliament decided to postpone the session for the verification of the opposition MPs’ resignations.

Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski interrupted Wednesday’s parliamentary session only two or three minutes after its start, explaining that the political dialogue should be given one more chance. The Social Democrats saw this as a signal for a meeting between Gruevski and Zaev at which the leader of SDSM would present his conditions for the return of the opposition MPs to Parliament. Shortly after, there arrived Gruevski’s invitation for a meeting Friday (20 June), a day after his reelection as prime minister and after the election of his fourth cabinet.

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admin1 – June 18, 2014 – 10:36am

-    Zoran Jolevski, the new Minister of Defense, and Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki are going to attend the regular meeting of the North-Atlantic Council with the Republic of Macedonia in Brussels on Friday. Jolevski and Poposki are going to present at the meeting Macedonia’s achievements in the implementation of the reforms foreseen in the Action Plan for Macedonia’s NATO Membership.

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admin1 – June 17, 2014 – 12:48pm

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is starting Tuesday an economic working visit to Great Britain. The Macedonian delegation also includes Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski and Viktor Mizo, Director of the Directorate for Technological and Industrial Development Zones. They will attend the Global Economic Forum 2014 in Liverpool as part of the program of the International Business Festival, which will be held for 50 days.

This forum is an occasion for sharing opinions on the current economic challenges and the possibilities for closer economic cooperation.

As part of the regular program of the Global Economic Forum 2014, in cooperation with the Financial Times Group, an investment forum focusing on the Republic of Macedonia will also take place. The Macedonian delegation will elaborate on this occasion the opportunities for doing business and making investments in the Republic of Macedonia.

During his visit to Great Britain, Prime Minister Gruevski is expected to visit a number of medical centers in the country probing possibilities for cooperation and sharing of medical personnel and training with the medical centers in Macedonia.

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admin1 – June 16, 2014 – 1:36pm

Four days prior to the start of the lawsuit he launched against SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, VMRO-DPMNE leader Nikola Gruevski said he was ready to reach out his hand to SDSM offering a packet of measures that would restore political dialogue in the country, Utrinski vesnik reports on its front page.

Gruevski’s message that he is willing to reach out his hand and that that SDSM in return should stop their conduct destructive for both the country and its citizens, however ironically articulated, is the first sign that something can be done to overcome the political rift between VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, rendered deeper by the early parliamentary elections the results of which the opposition refused to recognize.

No information could be obtained Sunday as to what this package could contain. The paper comments that either because of the celebration of VMRO-DPMNE’s 24th birthday on Sunday or because the package is still just an idea of the top party leaders that has not yet been put on paper, no one in VMRO-DPMNE dared assume in what direction the talks with the opposition, if any, would go.

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admin1 – June 12, 2014 – 8:23am

- German Chancellor Angela Merkel told Deutsche Welle that Germany wishes to cooperate with Macedonia is a reasonable manner and it will make her glad if an agreement for the name issue is reached in the coming months. Answering the question regarding the expectations from the new government, Merkel said that the name solution does not depend only on Macedonia but it also depends on Macedonia.

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admin1 – June 11, 2014 – 8:19am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki is attending a three-day working visit to London where he will take part in the Global summit End Sexual Violence in Conflict. Poposki will deliver a speech at the Summit and hold a lecture at the prestigious London School of Economics.

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admin1 – June 10, 2014 – 2:12pm

They say you do not change a winning team and therefore there is no need for any major replacements and rotations, analysts comment after the official list of names to make up the new cabinet has been provided to Parliament for approval.

Experts in general agree they did not expect any major modifications. A priority of the new cabinet, they add, should be the realization of the program rather than the names to fill the ministerial offices.

The fact that the government has not undergone any major alterations is a proof of the continuity in the program and evidence that VMRO-DPMNE keeps its promises, Stojan Kuzev, Professor at the European University, told Vecer daily.

“The selection of ministers in the new government is no surprise at all. The Government continues with its former team because the policies it carries out are consistent. It is for this reason that they believe that it is not changes but rather continuity in the realization of the set measures and policies that is necessary. No changes are necessary because these people have already proven themselves in their respective sectors and helped the party achieve its present rating,” Kuzev says.

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admin1 – June 9, 2014 – 8:14am

- Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski provided the list of new government ministers to Parliament. Of 25 ministerial departments, ten have new ministers. Zoran Jolevski, Macedonia’s ambassador to the USA, will be the new minister of defense, while Abdulaqim Ademi from BDI will be the new minister of education. The parliamentary session at which the new government will be elected has been set for 19 June. The focus of the new government, according to the prime minister, will be Macedonia’s European integration and economy.

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