admin1 – May 8, 2015 – 2:03pm

The National Bank of the Republic of Macedonia (NBRM) has retained its projections that the Macedonian economy this year is going to grow 4.1 percent. The most serious threat to this projection is the ongoing political crisis. Governor Dimitar Bogov cautioned that the prolongation of the crisis could affect investments, the main driving force of growth.

“Investors are very sensitive to uncertainty. They need certainty and stability. The prolongation of the political situation or its escalation may have negative effects. If that happens, there is the risk of projections moving downward,” Bogov said.

According to Governor Bogov, when there is economic growth, however uneven the distribution, the benefits will eventually be felt by more or less everyone. According to the projections of the National Bank of Macedonia, the inflation rate in 2015 will be 0.5 percent, the balance on the payment account moderate and the credit growth rate at the standard level of between 9 and 10 percent.

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admin1 – May 7, 2015 – 8:36am

In a statement made Wednesday via its spokesperson Maja Kocijancic, the European Union warned of the excessive use of force against protestors and appealed for seeking out a solution to the crisis by restoring political dialogue and conducting independent investigations by institutions.

“The EU is deeply concerned regarding the situation in the country as has already been stated in the last conclusions of the General Affairs Council. We regret the injuries suffered by the demonstrators and members of the security forces in yesterday’s demonstrations. As a general principle, the European Commission highlights the crucial importance of the freedom of peaceful protest and assembly and the freedom of expression as defined in the European Convention on Human Rights. They have to be the basic values of a functional democracy. We also remind of the need of avoiding a disproportionate use of force by the law enforcement authorities.

“We would like to remind that the political stakeholders are expected to take immediate action for sustainable resolution of the ongoing political crisis, including through a constructive engagement for restoring political dialogue and trust in institutions. We are not going to comment on the separate audio recordings yet remind that all allegations concerning any possible offence need to be subject of an urgent, independent and transparent investigation by the relevant authorities,” said Kocijancic, spokesperson for the EU foreign policy chief, Federica Mogherini.

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admin1 – May 6, 2015 – 8:31am

-    According to Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi, foreign ambassadors are worried about the political situation in Macedonia. They want the situation to be resolved through dialogue and insist that it is Macedonia that finds the solution, Poposki and Besimi said Tuesday after having breakfast with the ambassadors on the occasion of 9 May, Europe Day.  


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admin1 – May 5, 2015 – 1:18pm

Conducting dialogue within the framework of institutions is the first step in overcoming the political crisis, said Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki on Monday, commenting on the Declaration on Macedonia of the Monitoring Committee of the Council of Europe, after the lecture of Ambassador Marc Otte, Director of the Royal Institute for International Relations of the Kingdom of Belgium, delivered at the Institute for Geostrategic Research and Foreign Policy in Skopje.

Poposki added that the lack of constructive dialogue was going to do serious damage to Macedonia. Crucial to him is that all political stakeholders act responsibly, which will also be important for the recommendation Macedonia is to receive later this year.

“The report is being drafted and these are the crucial three months that will be assessed most thoroughly as far as the results of the political dialogue in Macedonia are concerned.  What that report includes will depend on this,” the Macedonian foreign minister said.

He added that after six successive recommendations the EC was under tremendous pressure regarding Macedonia.

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admin1 – May 5, 2015 – 10:18am

A group of about 50 people broke into the offices of the Islamic Religious Community (IRC) in Skopje on Monday taking away the IRC’s official stamps. They formed a provisional council led by Skopje Mufti Ibrahim Shabani that will elect a new IRC head. In addition, a commission will carry out a financial audit of Reis Sulejman Rexhepi’s financial operations. Skopje Mufti Shabani said he would run the IRC “until peace and rule of law is restored in the Islamic Religious Community of Macedonia”.


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admin1 – May 4, 2015 – 8:47am

- VMRO-DPMNE sitting leader and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski received a new four-year term to lead the party. From a total of 560 delegates attending the 15th Congress 529 cast ballots. Of them 528 voted for Nikola Gruevski and one ticket was invalid. This will be Gruevski’s fourth four-year term.

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admin1 – April 30, 2015 – 2:43pm

The current political situation in the Republic of Macedonia was in the focus of the meetings that the Macedonian authorities had with the delegation of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE).

The chairman of the Monitoring Committee, Sefan Schennach, the rapporteur on the post-monitoring dialogue with the Republic of Macedonia, Robert Walter, and the Chairman of the Socialist Group in the Parliamentary Assembly, Andreas Gross, considered all the possibilities over the past two days for restoring political dialogue in the country.

The three PACE officials argued that the legal aspect of the crisis should be kept apart from the political one.

“They appeal for dialogue between all political stakeholders and believe the Parliament with all its committee is the best venue for talks. If necessary, ad hoc committees should be set up to table those issues. However, dialogue has to be conducted in institutions.

“They believe it’s incomprehensible that MPs elected by the citizens should not go to work for 12 months and yet be paid salaries and bear no responsibility. Therefore they argue that the opposition MPs should either return or have their terms suspended under the Constitution and the Parliament’s Rules of Procedure,” said Aleksandar Nikoloski, Vice Chairman of the Monitoring Committee.

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admin1 – April 29, 2015 – 1:08pm

President Gjorge Ivanov is paying a visit to Azerbaijan. On Tuesday he had a bilateral meeting with his Azerbaijani counterpart, Ilham Aliyev, and took part in the 3rd Global Forum titled “Building Trust in the Emerging World Order”.

The two heads of state agreed at their bilateral meeting that the excellent political relations should translate into better economic cooperation, higher trade and drawing of direct Azerbaijani investments in the Macedonian economy.

President Aliyev accepted the official invitation to pay a visit to Macedonia, while President Ivanov accepted the invitation to attend the opening ceremony of the European Games in Baku in June this year.

President Aliyev informed President Ivanov about the energy and gas pipeline projects being carried out and planned in the Caspian Sea Region (TAP and TANAP). The two officials agreed that consultations in this regard should be launched as soon as possible. Possible investments in agriculture and infrastructure, further cooperation on a multilateral scale, and the current situation in the regions of Southeast Europe and the Caspian Sea were also discussed.

President Aliyev congratulated his Macedonian counterpart on the economic reforms and results Macedonia has achieved.

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admin1 – April 28, 2015 – 2:04pm

The German Ambassador to Macedonia, Christine Althauser, believes that, according to Western European standards, bearing political consequences is necessary in order to resolve the political crisis.

“The Government has not yet addressed the serious allegations being the result of the latest developments and presented recordings, which irritates me as much as it does other Western observers of the political stage in Skopje,” she said at Monday’s lecture at the Iustinianus Primus Faculty of Law in Skopje organized in association with the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

“According to Western European standards, political consequences are inevitable taking into consideration the proportions and nature of these allegations. I will be as clear as my colleague from the US was last week: bearing political consequences means tendering resignations, as a precondition for launching transparent and impartial investigations,” Ambassador Althauser said.

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admin1 – April 28, 2015 – 9:04am

- Deputy Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi held bilateral talks with German officials in Berlin on Monday in regard to Macedonia’s European integration and ongoing political crisis. Germany expects the political dialogue to note progress and the situation in the country to receive an institutional resolution, Besimi said after meeting his German hosts. 

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admin1 – April 27, 2015 – 1:01pm

Some of the weapons stolen from the Macedonian police in the attack on the Gosince border post last Tuesday were found in the village of Malino Maalo near Lipkovo on Sunday, Utrinski vesnik reports.

The massive police operation began in early morning on Sunday after the police received operative information that people connected to the border post attack were hiding in the village.

In the raid on several houses in Malino Maalo, a village near Macedonia’s border to Kosovo, weapons and ammunition were found. The Interior Ministry said more information about the operation would be presented on Monday.

The Gosince border post was attacked on Tuesday at about 2.30 in the morning when about 40 gunmen wearing uniforms of the disbanded paramilitary group UCK captured and disarmed the four Macedonian police officers at the post. They handcuffed three of them and started beating the fourth one, while filming the whole incident with a video camera.

They said they didn’t want any Ohrid agreements, took the weapons and radio equipment they found at the pos, broke the police officers’ cell phones and left.

Several names have so far been mentioned in connection with the Gosince attack. While the identity of some of them has not yet been confirmed others denied having anything to do with the incident. Sources from the investigation say more than half of the gunmen have been identified yet evidence was still being collected.

The situation in the region of Kumanovo and Lipkovo has been calm over the past few days, while appeals for reason and easing of tension have been sent from all sides.

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admin1 – April 24, 2015 – 2:16pm

Three days after a group of about 40 gunmen attacked the Gosince checkpoint on Macedonia’s northern border to Kosovo, commentaries by analysts from the region and Europe, and reactions from foreign institutions have not stopped pouring in.

A concern and a recommendation to the authorities of Macedonia and Kosovo to hold a meeting at the highest level and to cooperate have been expressed in the statement of the European Union, which condemned the attack.

“We are concerned about the violent incident at the Gosince police station in Lipkovo Municipality. It is vitally important that this case be resolved in a responsible manner. We expect the authorities and political parties to do all in their power to keep political or interethnic tension from escalating,” said Anka Padurari from the press service of the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, Johannes Hahn.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Russia has also posted a statement on its official website in regard to the Macedonian border incident.

“The incident on the Macedonian border is proof of the lingering sharp ethnic problems and conflict potential in that part of the Balkans. The situation is made worse by a major lack of law abidance and security in Kosovo, which obviously stems from the unresolved Kosovo problem in general. The calls for a Greater Albania that are heard more and more often in the region cannot be overlooked either,” the Russian MFA stated.

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admin1 – April 24, 2015 – 8:10am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki participated in the meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the Western Balkan countries and several European member states in Brdo pri Kranju, Slovenia, on Thursday. The main objective of the initiative is the European perspective of the Western Balkan countries that needs to be translated into concrete steps so these countries could connect to the Union economically and politically.

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admin1 – April 23, 2015 – 8:35am

-    President Gjorge Ivanov has been given information by the relevant defense, security and intelligence institutions on the incident in Lipkovo. After the meeting, the state leadership condemned the attack. The statement from the president’s office also says that the relevant authorities are taking all the necessary measures and activities to shed light on the case, and track down and sanction the assailants.


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admin1 – April 22, 2015 – 9:23am

- A terrorist group from Kosovo attacked a police station in the Kumanovo village of Gosince in the early morning hours of Tuesday, the Ministry of Interior confirmed. The group which had about 40 members captured four police officers who were on duty at the time. According to police spokesman Ivo Kotevski, the attackers were heavily armed, wore camouflage uniforms bearing UCK signs, and talked to each other in Albanian. They also had an interpreter and recorded the whole event. They disarmed the police officers, handcuffed three of them and started kicking the fourth.


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admin1 – April 21, 2015 – 1:41pm

At a meeting of the General Affairs Council of the EU, the Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the EU member states are going to pass Tuesday for the first time conclusions concerning the political situation in Macedonia, MIA’s Brussels-based correspondent reports.

They are expected to reconfirm the Union’s Thessaloniki Agenda commitment, the conclusion from the Summit of the European Council of 16 December last year, and Macedonia’s candidate member state status. However, at the proposal of European foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini’s service, the EU will also “raise deep concern over the aggravated situation in the country, especially concerning rule of law, and honoring basic rights and freedom of media, as fundamental democratic values being at the heart of the EU’s enlargement policy”.

At the proposal of the European External Action Service, the Council of the EU is also going to call on all parties to take immediate measures to restart political dialogue and restore trust in institutions, as well as to investigate allegations by fully honoring all procedures.

“The responsibility for this rests with the country’s political leaders,” the conclusion of the Council is expected to underline.

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admin1 – April 17, 2015 – 12:41pm

The opposition should return to parliament and all suspicions and indications of crimes resulting from the wiretapped conversations should be investigated, said US Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Hoyt Brian Yee, after meeting Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Skopje on Thursday.

He also met Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and BDI leader Ali Ahmeti and is yet to meet SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and Ombudsman Ixhet Memeti.

“We discussed the importance of overcoming this crisis, we discussed the importance of the government meeting its responsibility to uphold the basic democratic values that are enshrined in Macedonia’s Constitution, to meet the responsibilities that it was elected to uphold and to defend and to promote, and for the government to meet and to reaffirm its commitment to the Euro-Atlantic principles on which Macedonia will continue to make progress towards joining NATO and the European Union.

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admin1 – April 9, 2015 – 10:50am

- The political crisis destroys the international image of Macedonia and gives cheap excuses to those who block the euro integration process of Macedonia, stressed Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki in his address to the Assembly Committee for Foreign Politics and added that boycott is not European method for solving problems. The change of Greek governments won’t facilitate the name dispute issue, Poposki stressed.


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admin1 – April 8, 2015 – 10:51am

- Energy and Russian gas were the main topics discussed on the meeting on energy security in Budapest attended by Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki. Macedonia, Hungary, Serbia, Greece and Turkey discussed about their readiness for the new plan of Russia to enter gas on the Balkans and EU through the new pipeline “Turkish Stream”.

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admin1 – April 7, 2015 – 1:44pm

The Markova Noga border crossing in Prespa could be the first project to be carried out of the series of trust-building measures between Macedonia and Greece, sources from the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries have told Dnevnik off the record.

The opening of this border crossing, according to the sources, is quite realistic because it is in the interest of both countries and because it is not a political but practical measure. The Greek MFA is said to be making preparations for the implementation of this project, a difficulty being the absence of infrastructure on the Greek side of the border.

“This can be solved with finances from the EU funds. However, all the Schengen criteria for a border crossing will have to be met,” sources have told Dnevnik.

Sources from the Macedonian MFA, on the other hand, say one should not be overly optimistic bearing in mind the past experience.

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki is going to hold a bilateral meeting with his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias in Budapest on Tuesday and is going to present the Macedonian proposal of trust-building measures. Aside from the Markova Noga border crossing, his list is said to include such practical measures of cooperation as signing an agreement on double taxation avoidance, establishing a parliamentary committee, or to be more exact, committees in both parliaments responsible to promote the principle of mutual respect for the territorial integrity, not interfering in the other country’s home affairs, and extending mutual support in European integration processes.

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admin1 – April 7, 2015 – 10:40am

- EU and NATO should declare whether Macedonia will join the international institutions in reasonable time period, urged Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki after the meeting he had with Belgian Vice Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs Didier Reynders in Skopje. According to Poposki, “a strong political message addressed to Macedonia will be of great help”, and Reynders stressed that “Belgium got a clear message and expect to see Macedonia make progress in order to join EU and NATO in a given time period”.


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admin1 – April 6, 2015 – 9:53am

- Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Kingdom Belgium, Didier Reynders Monday will stay an official visit in Macedonia invited by Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki. As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs announced, Reynders will also meet with President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Vice Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi.


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admin1 – April 3, 2015 – 1:12pm

The Macedonian Ministry of the Interior stated Thursday it intended to press charges against opposition leader Zoran Zaev for leaking classified information. Charges had already been pressed against him for plotting coup d’etat and taking bribe.

According to the Interior Ministry, disclosing classified information is punishable under Article 317 of the Criminal Code with imprisonment of up to ten years.

“At the disgraceful press conference on Wednesday, Zaev uttered numerous fabrications and lies. What is more important, he presented details of an agreement on donation classified as top secret. With his indecent act, the accused in the Putsch case undermined the credibility of the Macedonian services thus directly jeopardizing the security of the Republic of Macedonia,” the press release from the Interior Ministry reads.

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admin1 – April 3, 2015 – 9:45am

- Macedonia and Albania have great political relations but that is not a trend in the economy. Both Presidents pledge for improved trade exchange, infrastructure connections, and preconditions for the wellbeing of the citizens whose countries strive to join the European family, concluded President Gjorge Ivanov and his host the Albanian President Bujar Nishani.

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admin1 – April 2, 2015 – 1:22pm

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev revealed at a press conference Wednesday recordings of ten more taped conversations, transcripts of text messages and a copy of the passport and a document on the entry into and exit from the country of an Israeli citizen.

The voices in the recordings were said to be those of the chief of the secret security service, Saso Mijalkov, his associate Svetlana Kostova, an Israeli named Haim Hakeini and two unidentified interlocutors.

The opposition leader claimed these conversations proved a commission of several hundred thousand euros was charged for the procurement of communication tracking equipment for the needs of the Security and Counter-Intelligence Office from Israel in 2011. According to Zaev, wiretapping equipment was also procured in 2008, while the amount spent on it amounted to 14 million euros.

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admin1 – April 1, 2015 – 3:47pm

“The possibility of setting up an interim government should be part of the negotiations between the two parties,” said British Ambassador to Macedonia Charles Garrett in his interview with the Alsat M television channel.

It’s not up to me, as ambassador of Great Britain, he said, to say what the solution to this crisis is, yet clearly that particular approach is much talked about and should be raised in the course of the negotiations. Finding a solution would take a great deal of creativity, patience, hard work, a lot of compromises from both sides and of course sincerity, Mr. Garrett added.

In his view, a good start of the process would be hearing a government commentary about the contents of the revealed wiretapped conversations.

“The contents of the revealed conversations and the wiretapping itself are extremely serious issues that need serious handling. A good start would be hearing a government commentary about the contents of the revealed conversations and a good following step would be the spirit of compromise, constructiveness, and creativity from all parties involved at the meetings and discussion held in a bid to find a way out,” he said.

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admin1 – March 31, 2015 – 11:24am

- Monday, SDSM representatives in Brussels remained firm on their demand for a transit government and resignation of the Ministers, the Chief of Macedonian Radio Television and of the Public Prosecutor and VMRO-DPMNE representatives rejected their demand. That was a quick end of the first meeting of the two parties with mediation of the MEP threesome Eduard Kukan, Ivo Vajgl and Richard Howitt, monitored by David Kulen and Christine Grau from the EC.

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admin1 – March 30, 2015 – 1:35pm

It is hard to predict the outcome of the first meeting between high-ranking officials of VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM in Brussels on Monday to be held under the auspices of the international community with the aim of the bringing their utterly conflicting views closer together and hopefully finding a way out of the political crisis.

SDSM deputy leader Radmila Sekerinska and Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki are going to meet behind closed doors in the building of the European Parliament in the attendance of MEPs Ivo Vajgl, Eduard Kukan, and Richard Howitt. However, it is still unknown who else will be part of the party teams conducting the negotiations.  

It is just as mysterious what issues will be on today’s agenda—whether the parties will present their starting positions or the manner in which to conduct talks will merely be defined. The MEPs are not expected to offer a tangible solution. Their mandate is only to try and detect a common ground for an agreement.

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admin1 – March 27, 2015 – 10:32am

- Special OSCE representative and coordinator of the fight against human smuggling, Ambassador Madina Jarbussynova, after the four-day visit of Macedonia, welcomed government’s efforts for fight against modern slavery.

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admin1 – March 26, 2015 – 10:03am

- Since EU is a political union, the political criteria should be applied to connect the region. Infrastructure shouldn’t serve only to transport goods and people, but also to integrate the Balkans in the European project, stressed Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki in his address on the Minister Conference on Western Balkans “Better connectivity, strong and vital transportation network”, which was held in Pristina.

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