IVANOV: WHEN YOU PLAY SOMEONE ELSE'S GAME, YOU DON'T GET OUT OF IT EASILY
MIC – August 1, 2014 – 1:53pm

Interview with Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov for Dnevnik

The keener interest of the international community, including mediator Nimetz and German Chancellor Angela Merkel, in the name dispute should be used for putting more pressure on Greece, Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov told Dnevnik.

Through this interview he also sends a message to Bulgaria: if you want us to jointly celebrate Ilinden 1903, we should also celebrate Ilinden 1944 together. He openly speaks about his relations with BDI in the light of BDI's refusal to recognize his legitimacy as a head of state and reveals that Zaev turned down his invitations for meetings for the sake of resuming the political dialogue.

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THREE YEARS IN JAIL FOR SIX PARTICIPANTS IN MONSTER MURDER CASE VIOLENT PROTESTS
MIC – July 31, 2014 – 1:07pm

Six persons who participated in the violent protests in Skopje on 4 July staged against the verdict reached in the Monster murder case were each sentenced to three years in prison. The prosecution dropped the charges for one of the defendants and the court released another for lack of evidence.

The convicted six will remain in detention until the verdict becomes effective. They will also have to pay 26,000 euros for the damage done to the court buildings.  

During the violent protests at Bit Pazar, 20 police officers were injured, four of whom sustained severe injuries, while the damage done to the stoned buildings of the Court of General Jurisdiction in Skopje stands at about 1.6 million denars.

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NIMETZ: UN HAS NO MANDATE TO NEGOTIATE IDENTITY
MIC – July 30, 2014 – 12:47pm

The talks conducted under UN auspices are about the name of the country. The UN does not negotiate the identity of peoples, said UN-assigned name dispute negotiator Matthew NImetz in Skopje on Tuesday.

"Peoples have their own identities and they are not negotiable. People create their identities through their achievements and culture. This country has its own identity," Mr. Nimetz said when asked whether the identity is an issue being discussed as German Chancellor Angela Merkel had earlier suggested.

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IVANOV: MACEDONIA WILLING TO HOLD HIGH-LEVEL MEETINGS TO RESOLVE NAME DISPUTE
MIC – July 29, 2014 – 12:45pm

The name dispute can be resolved provided that both parties are constructive and stick to the framework within which talks are conducted – the Resolutions of the UN Security Council, the Interim Accord and the Judgment of the International Court of Justice in the Hague, said Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov at his meeting with UN-assigned name dispute mediator Matthew Nimetz in Skopje on Tuesday.

"As always, the Republic of Macedonia will continue to take an active part in the name issue talks constructively and in good faith for the purpose of seeking out a mutually acceptable solution to the name issue," President Ivanov said.

At his meeting with mediator Niemtz, which was also attended by negotiator Vasko Naumovski and Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, President Ivanov stressed Macedonia's readiness for holding meetings at the highest level and for intensifying the dialogue.

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Flash News
MIC – July 25, 2014 – 8:24am

- The EU enlargement process, as one of the main priorities of the Italian presidency, in context to Italy’s support of the start of Macedonia’s EU negotiations, is expected to be in the focus of the talks with Italian Minister Federica Mogherini who will pay an official visit to Macedonia Friday.

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Flash News
MIC – July 24, 2014 – 8:12am

- The Stabilisation and Association Council between Macedonia and the EU (SA Council) held its eleventh meeting on Wednesday, chaired by Senator Benedetto Della Vedova, Undersecretary of State for Foreign Affairs of Italy, on behalf of High representative Catherine Ashton. The Macedonian delegation was led by foreign minister Nikola Poposki and included Deputy PM for European Affairs Fatmir Besimi. The SA Council recalled that the Stabilization and Association Agreement remains at the core of the relationship between the EU and Macedonia until the country’s accession to the EU.

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Flash News
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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CONSTITUTIONAL MODIFICATIONS UNDER EU'S MAGNIFYING GLASS
MIC – 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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PROPOSAL FOR MODIFYING CONSTITUTION PASSES PARLIAMENT
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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NULAND: MACEDONIA DESERVES PLACE IN NATO
MIC – 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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US ASSISTANT SECRETARY OF STATE NULAND PAYS VISIT TO MACEDONIA
MIC – 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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POLITICAL AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS APPEAL FOR PEACE
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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MOST FOREIGN INVESTMENTS MADE IN ENERGY SECTOR
MIC – 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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GRUEVSKI: WE WON'T LET PROTESTS ESCALATE
MIC – 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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CROATIAN CONSULTANTS TO DESIGN TOURIST ZONES
MIC – 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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PM GRUEVSKI MEETS JAPANESE COUNTERPART ABE, PROMOTES MACEDONIA AT BUSINESS FORUM IN TOKYO
MIC – 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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LIFE SENTENCES FOR SIX DEFENDANTS IN SMILKOVCI MURDER TRIAL
MIC – 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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GOVERNMENT SUGGESTS EIGHT CONSTITUTIONAL MODIFICATIONS
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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GRUEVSKI AND ZAEV TO TRY TO OVERCOME CRISIS AT MEETING TUESDAY
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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GRUEVSKI AND ZAEV TO MEET FRIDAY IN BID TO RESOLVE POLITICAL STALEMATE
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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