Flash News
MIC – September 30, 2013 – 8:06am

- PM Nikola Gruevski in New York met with UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and discussed about the intensifying of the talks regarding the name issue. PM Gruevski explained to Ban Ki-moon that Greece avoids the efforts of UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz and rejects the direct meetings and talks. Ban Ki-moon said that he would personally engage himself in intensifying the name talks.

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Flash News
MIC – September 27, 2013 – 8:42am

- Greece’s positions have not changed and there is no indication that the country is ready to settle the name dispute, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said Thursday following his meeting with Greek counterpart Evangelos Venizelos in New York. He added that there is no confirmation that Greece wishes to become part of the solution.

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Flash News
MIC – September 26, 2013 – 8:37am

- At a debate on the international law, organized within the UN General Assembly on Wednesday, the Macedonian delegation cited a non-implementation of the ruling of the International Court of Justice on Greece’s breaching of the Interim Accord. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said that thus far, the UN has not succeeded to enforce this verdict, which may contribute to settling the name dispute between the two countries and unblock Macedonia's road to the EU, NATO membership.

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Flash News
MIC – September 25, 2013 – 10:25am

- Baroness D’Souza, the Lord Speaker of the House of Lords of the Parliament of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, will pay an official visit to Macedonia on Wednesday upon an invitation of Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski and she is scheduled to meet with Deputy PMs Vladimir Pesevski, Fatmir Besimi, Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska as well as SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and officials of the civil society.

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Flash News
MIC – September 24, 2013 – 8:19am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, who is part of the Macedonian Delegation led by PM Nikola Gruevski, will take part in the general debate of the 68th session of UN’s General Assembly on 23-28 September in New York. Poposki is also expected to hold several bilateral meetings at the UN headquarters in New York.

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Government OKs 2014 Draft Budget and 2013 Budget Rebalance
MIC – September 20, 2013 – 2:01pm

The Macedonian Government adopted the 2014 draft budget and the 2013 budget rebalance and will provide them to Parliament for approval Friday.

Zoran Stavreski, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Finance, explained this was a mini rebalance under which 1.34 billion denars would reallocated to the Pension and Disability Insurance Fund and 430 million denars to the Ministry of Education. As for the budget 2014, he said it would be by 7 percent higher from last year’s, totaling 176.5 billion denars, where revenues total 158.2 billion denars and the budget deficit to be funded by home and foreign sources stands at 3.5 percent.

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BUSINESSMEN SATISFIED WITH ANNOUNCED ECONOMIC MEASURES FOR 2014
MIC – September 20, 2013 – 12:33pm

The construction of two new highways, the legal regulation of liabilities between companies and the start of Macedonia’s gasification – projects that Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski announced for next year – are going to have a positive effect on the business climate, businessmen say.

Zlatko Kalenikov, President of the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce, says that he has heard from the prime minister good news about the four most important things in business – gasification, infrastructure, fiscal discipline, and salaries and pensions.

“The most important thing to us is starting the gasification project because that would halve the costs of production companies. If it truly begins, the gasification will be the most positive thing in 2014. Home building firms will be contracted for the construction of roads, whereby this industry will be stimulated. Once the government settled its outstanding liabilities to companies, settling debts among companies themselves has now left to be done and this is very important considering everybody waits for the other to repay its debts so they, too, can settle their debts to a third party,” Kalenikov said.

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Flash News
MIC – September 19, 2013 – 9:19am

- NATO’s North Atlantic Council adopted Wednesday a progress report on Macedonia in view of its political, economic and defense reforms as part of the 14th cycle of the Membership Action Plan. Macedonian Ministers of Foreign Affairs and Defense, Nikola Poposki and Talat Xhaferi, attended the meeting, at which it was concluded that Macedonia has met all the political and security condition to become the 29th NATO member but it cannot join the Alliance due to the long-standing name dispute.

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Flash News
MIC – September 18, 2013 – 8:28am

- Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki met Tuesday with Finland’s Foreign Minister Erkki Tuomioja, who, at the press-conference, said that Finland has always openly supported the EU enlargement and it is prepared for the fifth year in a row to back the recommendation on opening accession negotiations with the Republic of Macedonia. With regard to possible assistance in solving the name row with Greece, the Finnish diplomat said that “it is always better the parties to find a solution on their own because no one benefits from the fact that the issue is unresolved.”

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MACEDONIAN POLICE ARREST 17 SUSPECTS IN FIRST EVER ESPIONAGE CASE
MIC – September 17, 2013 – 1:35pm

In a massive operation that is still in progress, the Ministry of Interior took into custody Monday 17 suspects in a case of espionage, blackmail, deceit and criminal association, the first of its kind ever in Macedonia and the whole region of the Western Balkans, Nova Makedonija reports. Well known names of the show business, police officers, intelligence agents, employees of the Ministry of Defense, a senior parliamentary official and former chiefs of important state institutions were arrested in the police operation in Skopje Monday morning. They are all suspected of having sold confidential state information to foreign secret services. What are the foreign secret services is yet to be revealed.

“Police took into custody 17 out of 22 suspects. Some of them are abroad as two of them are already in jail for other crimes. They will be brought before the investigative judge within 24 hours,” said Ivo Kotevski, spokesman for the Interior Ministry.

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MACEDONIAN PARTIES SIGN EU INTEGRATION MEMORANDUM
MIC – September 16, 2013 – 2:35pm

Seventeen parliamentary political parties, except for PDSH and the Liberal Party, signed in Parliament Monday the memorandum on meeting the strategic goal of the Republic of Macedonia of European Union membership.  

The parties undertook to carry out continuously and without delay, within the framework of the institutions, all activities and decisions for reforms required in meeting the European Union membership criteria and especially those that pertain to freedom of media and expression, free and fair elections, rule of law and independence of the judiciary, and fighting crime and corruption.

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Flash News
MIC – September 16, 2013 – 8:20am

- President Gjorgje Ivanov will take part at the 5. Regional Presidential Summit in Durres, Albania 16-17 September. Ivanov will attend Monday the formal dinner hosted by Albanian President Bujar Nishani while on Tuesday he is to deliver and address and hold bilateral meetings with regional counterparts.

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MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT DOES NOT ACCEPT GEOGRAPHIC QUALIFIER
MIC – September 13, 2013 – 8:21am

The factual situation in the negotiations is that there is no solution, that the differences between the two parties are profound and that bringing the two positions closer together is hardly likely any time soon, home and Greek analysts say. The difference in relation to the previous round of negotiations is that this time round there are profound differences over mediator Nimetz’s concrete proposal and that he dared speak openly about the Greek government’s positions.

Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov said Thursday that while there was consent that the word ‘Macedonia’ should be included in the solution, there was still no rapprochement of the positions.

“What Mr. Nimetz said is a reality and we expect Greece to stick to the framework within which the negotiations are conducted. The other party always sets ultimatums and wants to see only its own demands met disregarding the other party’s demands and needs,” he said without answering whether it was true that the Macedonia authorities accepted that the name should include a geographic qualifier and that the problem now was where to put it.

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Flash News
MIC – September 12, 2013 – 9:19am

-    After meeting Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Skopje Wednesday, mediator Matthew Nimetz said that there were serious differences between Macedonia and Greece regarding various aspects of the possible solution. Greece insists that the compromise name should be for all purposes and that the geographic qualifier should precede ‘Macedonia’ rather than ‘Republic.’ “I believe the name has to contain the word ‘Macedonia’ bearing in mind the country is in the Macedonian region but is not complete Macedonia. Macedonia is a larger territory partitioned 100 years ago, one part of which is in Greece and therefore there has to be a qualifier to make clear distinction. The Macedonian Government has a different view as to the position of the qualifier” he said.

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FINANCIAL AID FOR SKOPJE PROVIDED NAME ISSUE IS RESOLVED
MIC – September 11, 2013 – 2:14pm

After having heard the positions of the Greek authorities to his latest, April proposal for resolution of the name issue, Matthew Nimetz, the UN mediator in the dispute, arrived in Skopje Tuesday with the same goal.

“I came to hear the stands to my latest ideas for a possible solution to the name issue,” Nimetz said on his arrival, adding he expected a good meeting in Macedonia.

Mr. Nimetz started the working part of his visit Tuesday with a meeting with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov and is scheduled to meet Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki on Wednesday.

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NAME ISSUE MEDIATOR NIMETZ CLEARLY SEES WHAT GREECE WANTS
MIC – September 10, 2013 – 2:44pm

UN-appointed name issue mediator Matthew Nimetz was informed about the Greek positions to his latest April proposal for resolution of the name issue between Macedonia and Greece at his meeting with Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens on Monday and now, he said, he clearly understands the position of the Greek authorities.

“Minister Evangelos presented to me the general positions in the negotiations, the position of the government, as well as some detailed remarks about the ideas I presented, in terms of which are acceptable and which are not, and what changes can make them acceptable to Greece. Venizelos was very clear. We had a very constructive meeting, because now I have very clearly understood the position of the Greek government,” Nimetz said after the meeting.

Asked whether the authorities in Skopje are going to accept the modifications that Athens wants, he briefly said he should first come to Skopje.

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Flash News
MIC – September 10, 2013 – 8:45am

- Mediator Matthew Nimetz confirmed Monday in Athens that he does not bring a new proposal for the name dispute but that he is coming with a mission to check the positions of Skopje and Athens. According to Nimetz, these are very difficult negotiations and the most important thing is for every side to understand the positions of the other side. On Wednesday, Nimetz is to pay a visit to Skopje to meet with the Macedonian state leadership.

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Flash News
MIC – September 5, 2013 – 8:20am

- Croatia is to protect the consensus at the EU Summit in December and meanwhile it will wait for the political agreement between Macedonia and Greece, said Croatian President Ivo Josipovic at the meeting with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov. Josipovic said that his country is monitoring the efforts that Macedonia is making to meet all criteria for EU and NATO membership but on the other hand stressed that Croatia is also nourishing excellent relations with Greece. President Ivanov, ahead of Nimetz’s visit, stated that Macedonia is always prepared for talks with the mediator.

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NIMETZ TO LOOK FOR ANSWERS IN ATHENS AND SKOPJE NEXT WEEK
MIC – September 4, 2013 – 12:59pm

Name issue mediator Matthew Nimetz is going to pay a visit to Macedonia and Greece next week, the office of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s Special Envoy, confirmed.

According to unconfirmed information, Nimetz is first going to visit Athens and then Skopje.

The name issue talks intensified at the onset of 2013. In early January, mediator Nimetz visited both Macedonia and Greece and for the first time in 20 years saw an opportunity for resolution of the dispute. Later that month, he also met the negotiators of Macedonia and Greece, Zoran Jolevski and Adamantios Vassilakis, in New York.

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Flash News
MIC – September 4, 2013 – 10:10am

- President of the Republic of Croatia Ivo Josipovic on Wednesday and Thursday is to pay an official visit to Macedonia. According to announcements, Josipovic is to meet with the state leadership but also with representatives of the Croatian community in Macedonia.

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Flash News
MIC – September 3, 2013 – 8:30am

- PM Nikola Gruevski sent a letter to EU Commissioner Stefan Fule in which he informs Fule about the outcome of the talks held in the inquiry commission involving the events of 24 December. Gruevski informed Fule in details about all aspects of the report and stressed that VMRO-DPMNE stands behind the implementation of the recommendations. Gruevski believes that these efforts will be fairly recognized by the upcoming European Commission's report on Macedonia's progress and result in setting a date for launching of the country’s accession talks in the near future.

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Flash News
MIC – September 2, 2013 – 9:10am

-    BDI leader Ali Ahmeti, Deputy Prime Minister Musa Xhaferi and Artan Grubi, Ahmeti’s Chief of Staff, are scheduled to meet Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos in Athens Monday. BDI informed this meeting was a follow-up to the intensive campaign they have launched regarding Macedonia’s integration into the EU and NATO.

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Flash News
MIC – August 30, 2013 – 8:15am

- Ilija Dimovski from VMRO-DPMNE is to chair the working group which is tasked with realizing the recommendations of the ad-hoc commission in the Parliament. Except for him, Blagorodna Dulic from VMRO-DPMNE, Cvetanka Ivanova and Igor Ivanovski from SDSM and Nexhati Jakupi from BDI are part of the group. PDSH will not take part in the working group as it considers that the events of 24 December were imposed.  Nevertheless, there are no deadlines for realizing the recommendations but the parties agreed to start working as soon as possible.

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Flash News
MIC – August 29, 2013 – 10:35am

-    Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski is going to hold a meeting Thursday with the deputy speakers and the coordinators of the parliamentary groups with the aim of establishing a working group to put into effect the 11 recommendations of the 24 December inquiry committee. Despite criticisms that the report does not include direct indications of constitutional violations nor does it pinpoint political responsibility, Radmila Sekerinska, vice president of SDSM, says she is satisfied with the outcome. “What is important is that VMRO-DPMNE signed capitulation and admitted what the opposition has claimed over the past eight months,” she says.  Her view is identical to that of Ljubomir Frckoski, member of the committee from SDSM, who said that if the committee had defined political responsibility, they would have gone beyond the powers invested in them.

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FINAL REPORT ON THE EVENTS OF 24 DECEMBER SIGNED
MIC – August 26, 2013 – 1:01pm

The ad-hoc commission signed Monday the final report for the events that happened in and outside the Parliament on 24 December 2012. Commission Chairman Borce Davitkovski and members from VMRO-DPMNE Ilija Dimovski and Blagorodna Dulik, as well as Ljubomir Frckoski and Renata Deskovska Trenevska from SDSM, signed the final report.

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Flash News
MIC – August 23, 2013 – 8:11am
struski veceri
 

- With the traditional reading of poem “Longing for the South”, the 52nd Struga Poetry Evenings were opened Thursday. This year’s laureate of the festival is renowned Mexican poet Jose Emilio Pacheco, who despite his age, arrived in Struga to receive his award.

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EARLY ELECTIONS BY EITHER GRUEVSKI’S OR AHMETI AND ZAEV’S MODEL?
MIC – August 22, 2013 – 12:54pm

Unless the inquiry committee into the 24 December incident produces conclusions by Friday, a “new strategy” would be applied, according to Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s earlier statement, which many interpret as heralding early parliamentary elections. However, based on the party officials’ statements over the past two months, it is evident that all wish to shun elections. VMRO-DPMNE stress that they would call them only if they have to. BDI insist that time should not be wasted in this way, as SDSM is in favor of elections provided the election legislation is aligned with the recommendations of the OSCE of 2011. Nevertheless, the possibility of holding early elections is constantly in the air, Nova Makedonija comments.

When it comes to calling early parliamentary elections, there are two scenarios, the paper says. In the first and more likely one, it would be governing VMRO-DPMNE to call them. According to the second one, political parties in Parliament may regroup to form a new majority whose only purpose would be to conduct the poll. It is speculated that the second scenario would be prompted by BDI and SDSM so they would make sure the results are objective, bearing in mind SDSM’s incessant accusations that VMRO-DPMNE is pressurizing and manipulating voters, and also in order for them to try and win enough parliamentary seats to form their own governing coalition regardless of the number of votes VMRO-DPMNE polls.

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PARTY LEADERS GET INVOLVED IN INQUIRY COMMITTEE’S WORK TO HELP REACH COMPROMISE ON TIME
MIC – August 21, 2013 – 1:03pm

After a month-long impasse, the committee of inquiry into the parliamentary incident of 24 December resumed operations Tuesday. Ilija Dimovski and Blagorodna Dulik from VMRO-DPMNE, Renata Deskovska and Ljubomir Frckoski from SDSM, together with Nikola Gruevski and Zoran Zaev, leaders of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM respectively, as well as Radmila Sekerinska, vice president of SDSM, and Martin Protogjer, Gruevski’s Chief of Staff, met at the Club of MPs and discussed the possible ways of resolving the political gridlock threatening to complicate further Macedonia’s European integration. The meeting that lasted for four hours was also attended by chairman Borce Davitkovski, who has recently resigned, and by the two foreign observers.

Although the meeting began in a laidback atmosphere, tension rose over time resulting in frequent breaks during which Gruevski and Zaev consulted their associates, Dnevnik reports.

Both Gruevski and Zaev entered the meeting as optimists that a compromise would be reached on time.

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AHMETI AND GRUEVSKI COORDINATED ABOUT NAME ISSUE
MIC – August 20, 2013 – 12:58pm

Ernst Reichel, Germany’s special envoy for Southeast Europe, most probably had in mind the position of the Government, when he said during his visit to Macedonia last week that mediator Matthew Nimetz’s name proposal was acceptable to Macedonia and that it all now depended on Greece, Nova Makedonija reports.

This can be concluded from the statement of a BDI source for Nova Makedonija that apart from meeting Musa Xhaferi, Deputy Prime Minister for the Implementation of the Framework Agreement, and Ali Ahmeti and Zoran Zaev, leaders of BDI and SDSM, the German diplomat also met government officials from VMRO-DPMNE.

Last week, Reichel was in Skopje and in a statement for Alsat TV he said the authorities reassured him that they were very much interested in seeking out a solution to the name issue, that the options at the table were acceptable to them and that now it all depended on Greece’s readiness for a compromise.

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EARLY ELECTIONS, GRUEVSKI’S NEW STRATEGY FOR RESOLVING INQUIRY COMMITTEE STALEMATE
MIC – August 19, 2013 – 12:21pm

Unless a solution is found soon so the committee of inquiry responsible to shed light on the parliamentary incident of 24 December can resume operations and adopt a report on time, VMRO-DPMNE is going to employ a new strategy, said Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Saturday. He is convinced that it is SDSM that blocks the adoption of the committee’s conclusion on which Macedonia’s European integration depends and has once again pointed his finger at Branko Crvenkovski, the recently deposed opposition leader, Utrinski vesnik reports.

The leader of VMRO-DPMNE did not specify what the new strategy would consist of yet it is speculated increasingly more that early parliamentary elections would soon be held. The committee’s block, the hopeless European prospects, the rickety relations in the ruling coalition and the weakness of SDSM still unprepared for an election battle are the arguments of those that favor holding early elections by spring at the latest at the same time with the presidential poll.

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