Flash News
MIC – October 31, 2013 – 9:20am

- MEP Richard Howitt said Wednesday that Macedonia is prepared to launch the negotiations with Brussels but until December Summit the country must convince not only Bulgaria and Greece but also the other countries that it is prepared for the next phase. The British rapporteur ended his three-day visit to the country with three recommendations for Macedonian politicians – to meet the obligations from the ad-hoc commission tasked with the events of 24 December, make progress in the relations with Bulgaria and progress to be seen in the freedom of expression. Howitt demands both the government and opposition to work in interest of Macedonia’s European aspirations.

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HOWITT: KEZAROVSKI AND SIPOVIK SEEN AS CASES OF SELECTIVE JUSTICE
MIC – October 29, 2013 – 10:55am

The EC report on Macedonia’s progress is very important and good for the country, said Richard Howitt, British MEP and rapporteur for Macedonia at the EU, and Aivo Orav, EU Ambassador to Macedonia, at the meeting of the National European Integration Council in Skopje Monday. Mr. Howitt also said the country should be set a date for opening accession negotiations with the EU because the status quo was bad for it.

“The comments I make in Brussels clearly show that this country cannot remain in a status quo. It is not right to refuse this country’s aspirations for membership year after year. The position of the EC, of the EP and my personal position is that the Copenhagen criteria have been met enough. But it also fair to say that some EU member states – not only your neighbors but also a number of other countries – disagree with this. This is what we need to discuss before December – what we should do to convince these countries that the Copenhagen criteria have been sufficiently met,” Howitt said.

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Flash News
MIC – October 29, 2013 – 10:41am

- MEP Richard Howitt in the next three days in Skopje is to look for arguments on how to convince the EU countries to allow Macedonia in December start of the negotiations. On Monday in the Parliament Howitt requested MPs to give details on the bad experience that Macedonia has from these five years of blockades from Greece and stressed that it is not okay for the EU to once again reject Macedonia. During his visit, Howitt will meet with all leaders of political parties and on the last day, at a press-conference, he is to give his own assessment on the visit.

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Flash News
MIC – October 25, 2013 – 8:17am

- Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski following the European People’s Party Summit on Thursday said that the developments related to the European Union economy were the main topic. Gruevski said that there is an impression that the Union’s economy is recovering but as European Council President Herman Van Rompuy said, the EU has not surpassed the crisis yet. On Friday, Gruevski is scheduled to meet EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule and the meeting shall focus on the latest EC report on Macedonia’s progress.

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CNN COMING TO WESTERN BALKANS
MIC – October 24, 2013 – 1:19pm

CNN, the US basic cable and satellite television channel, signed a deal with the television channel N1 to air program in the region of the Western Balkans. The start of the program has been scheduled for 2014 from the studios in Croatia, Serbia and Bosnia-Herzegovina. Media in the region report that the project has been developed for a long time, as CNN said that this was their first regional news program in the territory of former SFRY to be watched by 20 million people, broadcast in the beginning from the studios in Zagreb, Belgrade and Sarajevo and later from other cities in the region as well.

CNN sees in this undertaking a new chance for expansion and influence bearing in mind that frequently they were the precursors of global processes. Also, according to some, the reason for this expansion is the fact that apart from being turned to the Euro-Atlantic structures, the countries of the Balkans have also directed their eyes toward the East.

Analysts say that CNN and Al Jazeera’s interest in the region is a sign that the region is interesting to report from.

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Flash News
MIC – October 24, 2013 – 10:04am

- Mediator Matthew Nimetz is set to hold meetings with Zoran Jolevski and Adamantios Vassilakis, the Macedonian and Greek negotiators, in New York on Thursday and Friday. Following Mr. Nimetz’s September visit to the region which produced no results, this is another attempt at bringing the conflicting positions closer together. According to Utrinski vesnik’s Athens-based correspondent, in Greece there are no optimistic expectations of the new meetings.

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SINOHYDRO OF CHINA TO BUILD TWO MACEDONIAN HIGHWAYS
MIC – October 22, 2013 – 12:40pm

On the first day of his visit to the People’s Republic of China, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov had meetings with the managements of three Chinese companies interested in striking economic cooperation with the Republic of Macedonia. They are China State Construction Engineering, the largest construction company in China, Sinohydro Corporation LTD, which is going to build the Skopje-Stip and Kicevo-Ohrid highways and the oil company Sesai Jialijia Petro Chemical Equipment.

The management of the state construction company, involved in the project of investing 10 billion dollars in the road network of the countries of the Central European Initiative, informed President Ivanov about their interest in making investments in Macedonia. To this end, a special team of the company is already paying a visit to Macedonia considering the possibilities of implementing infrastructure projects. President Ivanov told them about the possibilities that the free economic zones offer and about the effort the Government makes to create a better investment environment.

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JOURNALIST KEZAROVSKI SENTENCED TO 4.5 YEARS IN PRISON
MIC – October 21, 2013 – 1:18pm

The Judicial Council of the Criminal Court in Skopje sentenced Nova Makedonija’s journalist Tomislav Kezarovski Monday to four and a half years in prison for revealing the identity of a protected witness in the case Orese with his reports published in the newspaper Reporter 92 in 2008.

The other indictees in the case Liquidation, including judges, lawyers and prosecutors, were all handed down imprisonment sentences of 1 to 5 years. In their closing statements, they all pleaded not guilty.

Dunja Mijatović, OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media, expressed deep concern about the sentencing of journalist Tomislav Kezarovski to four and a half years in prison.

“I am appalled by today’s sentence. This excessive conviction is a worrying development and sends a clear message of censorship to other journalists in the country. Today’s verdict has serious consequences for free expression and media freedom. Criminal prosecution of reporters for their journalistic activities violates the fundamental human right to free expression and the country’s OSCE commitments to develop and protect free media,” Mijatović said.

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Flash News
MIC – October 21, 2013 – 8:14am

- President Gjorge Ivanov, as of 21-24 October, is to pay a working visit to the People’s Republic of China, where he is to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. During the visit to China, a visit to China’s province Sichuan is planned where the 14th International Forum for Western China will be held.

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SEC PRESIDENT BORIS KONDARKO RESIGNS
MIC – October 18, 2013 – 12:39pm

President of the State Election Commission (SEC) Boris Kondarko has resigned for personal reasons. His resignation has already been submitted to the Parliament and will probably be reviewed at Monday’s session. Kondarko was appointed SEC President upon the proposal of opposition party SDSM.

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EC AWARDS MACEDONIA 5TH RECOMMENDATION FOR OPENING EU ACCESSION TALKS
MIC – October 16, 2013 – 1:34pm

The European Commission issued the Republic of Macedonia Wednesday (16 October) the fifth recommendation for opening EU membership negotiations. In addition to negotiations, the report, which EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule already presented at the European Parliament, also recommends an immediate start of the screening process (primarily Chapter 23 on freedom, justice and security, and Chapter 24 on judiciary and fundamental rights) and a new negotiating framework for the talks with Greece for resolution of the name issue. The EC is doing this, the report further adds, with the aim of keeping the credibility of the Union’s enlargement.

The European Commission says in its report it is confident that the decision for opening accession talks will contribute to creating favorable conditions for improving good-neighborly relations in general and to seeking out a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue in particular, which is vitally important.
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Flash News
MIC – October 16, 2013 – 12:26pm

- The European Commission is to present Wednesday the report on Macedonia’s progress and the initial information will be presented at a press-conference at 14:30.

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BRUSSELS MORE LENIENT ABOUT DEMOCRACY, STRICTER ABOUT SETTLING NAME ISSUE
MIC – October 14, 2013 – 12:26pm

The name issue has to be resolved without any further delay. This, according to the Balkan Service of Radio Free Europe, which claims to have an insight into the EC progress report on Macedonia to be issued Wednesday, will be stated in the segment about Macedonia’s headway on its EU integration path, Nova Makedonija reports.

This formulation of the Brussels diplomats when it comes to the name issue is new and reminds of the attitude that NATO established in 2008 following the summit in Bucharest.

“Considering the fact that most NATO member states are also EU member states it is clear that this is a coordinated approach. The effect on the negotiations arises from the power of the two organizations in the international relations. In this particular case, they are clearly on Greece’s side and the pressure is directed toward the weaker party – the one that equally seeks membership of both organizations,” says University Professor Biljana Vankovska.

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SECOND INVESTMENT SUMMIT HELD IN OHRID
MIC – October 9, 2013 – 12:52pm

The second Global Investment Summit which is organized by “Macedonia 2015” in the following two days is to be held in Ohrid. According to announcements, more than 350 participants from several countries are expected to debate on the opportunities for greater economic cooperation.  At the opening of the Summit, an address by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski is expected to be delivered, as well as by US Ambassador Paul Wohlers, chairman of the Board of Directors of “Macedonia 2025” Mike Zafirovski and the Summit chairman Zoran Martinovski.  

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MEDIA CULTURE – NEW CONDITION BRUSSELS SETS FOR OPENING ACCESSION TALKS WITH MACEDONIA
MIC – October 8, 2013 – 8:18am

Introducing media culture will be the new condition that Macedonia will have to meet to be set a date for opening membership negotiations with the EU, MIA reports. The European Commission is going to award Macedonia the fifth recommendation for opening accession talks but is going to mention the adjective ‘Macedonian’ only twice. These are the three main points in the progress report that EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fule is going to present on 16 October.

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Flash News
MIC – October 7, 2013 – 9:10am

- Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov hosted Sunday a reception at the Museum of the Macedonian Struggle for Statehood and Independence on the occasion of the visit of the honorary consuls to Macedonia. They are to meet Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki Monday to analyze their past achievements and define future priorities.

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FIVE ALTERNATIVES FOR MACEDONIA AS WAY OUT OF NAME DISPUTE STALEMATE
MIC – October 1, 2013 – 1:01pm

What if the negotiations between Macedonia and Greece do not yield any results soon? Will Macedonia’s European and Euro-Atlantic integration remain hostage to the long-standing name dispute? Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said in his address at the 68th annual meeting of the UN General Assembly in New York on Friday that after 22 years it is time the UN came up with alternative solutions.

Based on the opinions gathered from connoisseurs of the negotiation process, former ministers of foreign affairs and international law experts, Dnevnik has drawn up five possible alternatives being within the framework of the rules of the United Nations and the Security Council Resolutions. Three of them are quite feasible given that Greece has closed almost all doors to negotiations by avoiding meetings with Macedonian officials and by setting ultimatums and insisting on an erga omnes application of the negotiated name. Terminating all talks under Nimetz’s auspices is not an option either considering that Macedonia does not have the diplomatic power to sell the world the story that it is doing it because it has to and not with the aim of blocking the process or for spite.

1. Application of the Hague Judgment

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Flash News
MIC – September 30, 2013 – 8:35am

- PM Nikola Gruevski in his address at the 68th UN General Assembly in New York, stressed that the Macedonian people will never accept to be renamed and added that Greece is unable, with blockades and threats, to change something that has existed for centuries. He urged the UN not to be passive as this shows additional liability and added that the name issue is not based on international law and is not in accordance with the UN acts.

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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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