VMRO-DPMNE AND SDSM TO BEGIN TALKS IN BRUSSELS, CHANCES FOR PROGRESS DEEMED AS SLIM
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – 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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Flash News
MIC – March 25, 2015 – 10:34am

- The first meeting between VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM representatives with European mediators is expected for next week in Brussels. After the two-day conference on political culture and dialogue in the European Parliament the two parties confirmed their readiness to sit on the round table with the MEPs Ivo Vajgl, Eduard Kukan and Richard Howitt.

 

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Flash News
MIC – March 24, 2015 – 10:04am

- Monday and Tuesday, Radmila Sekerinska and Lidija Dimova (SDSM), Antonio Milososki (VMRO-DPMNE), Ljubomir Josifovski (NSDP), Talal Xhaferi (BDI), Imer Aliu (DPA) and Ljubica Buralieva, independent MP, will participate on a Seminar devoted to political culture and the importance of political dialogue in the European Parliament in Brussels. According to MP Milososki, it is expected EU to insist SDSM to return to Parliament and there start the dialogue with the Government.

 

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Flash News
MIC – March 23, 2015 – 10:46am

- The Republic of Macedonia belongs in EU and NATO as equal member which pledges economic prosperity, peace and safety in Europe and the world, stressed Defense Minister Zoran Jolevski in his address on the tenth anniversary of Brussels’ Forum organized by the German Marshall Fund.

 

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Flash News
MIC – March 20, 2015 – 10:23am

- Prime Minister and VMRO-DPMNE leader, Nikola Gruevski Thursday participated on the Conference of European People’s Parties in Brussels and he met with the President of the European People’s Party Joseph Daul. After the meeting Gruevski stressed that President Daul considers that the opposition should return to Parliament and there discuss the political condition.

 

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COMMISSIONER HAHN SAID TO INSIST ON SDSM-VMRO-DPMNE MEETING IN BRUSSELS
MIC – March 19, 2015 – 2:40pm

Johannes Hahn, the Commissioner for European Neighborhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations, is going to coordinate the activities of seeking out a way out of the political crisis in Macedonia, which are set to begin in Brussels soon. Sources from both SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE told Vest on Wednesday that their parties had already been informed that they would be invited to talks in Brussels next week.

Mr. Hahn reportedly told both parties on the phone last week that the process of political reconciliation would begin once Brussels received Prosecutor General Marko Zvrlevski’s request for EU observers. Also, in order to eliminate suspicions and mistrust, the Commissioner is said to have insisted that the first meeting be held on a neutral ground, in Brussels, Vest reports.

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Flash News
MIC – March 19, 2015 – 10:13am

- The European Union demands and expects quick intervention in order to restore the political dialogue in Macedonia, while all developments regarding the “Putsch” case are daily monitored and expect legal and institutional outcome. These are the messages of the newly appointed Secretary General of the European Service for Foreign Affairs Alain Le Roy, after the meeting he had with Vice Prime Minister Fatmir Besimi Wednesday in Brussels

 

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EC CONFIRMS RECEPTION OF PROSECUTOR GENERAL’S REQUEST FOR OBSERVERS
MIC – March 18, 2015 – 2:12pm

The Spokesperson for the European Commission, Maja Kocijancic, confirmed Tuesday that the authorities in Brussels received the invitation of Macedonian Prosecutor General Marko Zvrlevski for sending international observers for the coup (putsch) court case, in which among those accused of collaboration with foreign services is also the leader of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), Zoran Zaev.

Ms. Kocijancic also confirmed that the political groups in the European Parliament would form a group by the end of March whose aim would be to come to Macedonia and try and reconcile the largest political parties in the country.

“Yes, I can confirm we have received an invitation from the prosecutor general. But I can also repeat what Commissioner Hahn said in the European Parliament last week that we welcome any initiative launched by the groups of the European political parties and individual members of the European Parliament to help overcome the deadlock,” said the spokesperson for the EU High Representatives for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini.

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Flash News
MIC – March 18, 2015 – 10:07am

- Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, i.e. the Committee for monitoring the responsibilities of the member countries of the Council of Europe, Tuesday reviewed the information and discussed the situation in Macedonia, and the Spanish parliamentary member Pedro Agramont stressed there is deep concern because the opposition refuses to return to Parliament.

 

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SDSM AND BDI DENY MAKING DEAL ON MUTUAL PROTECTION AND SUPPORT
MIC – March 17, 2015 – 2:51pm

SDSM leader Zoran Zaev and BDI chairman Ali Ahmeti are said to have recently held a meeting, at Ahmeti’s initiative, regarding the wiretapping affair. According to some sources, Ahmeti offered Zaev a deal—in return for his not revealing any compromising material about BDI, BDI would support Zaev’s demand for setting up an interim government and would seek to persuade Prime Minister Gruevski, too, to accept the idea; and according to other sources, Ahmeti was already given the material pertaining to BDI at this meeting with Zaev.

There is also conflicting information as to where the meeting took place. While some say it was held in Zajas, others allege the deal was struck in the Social Democrats’ Skopje-based headquarters.

Ahmeti reportedly demanded that besides organizing early elections, the interim government should also have a mandate to resolve the name dispute with Greece but Zaev rejected it.

Both BDI and SDSM deny that such a meeting ever took place in the wake of the surveillance scandal revelation. Moreover, SDSM add their political ‘bombs’ will not spare BDI.

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VMRO-DPMNE RALLY SUPPORTERS IN RESPONSE TO SDSM’S VOTE-RIGGING ALLEGATIONS
MIC – March 16, 2015 – 3:20pm

Thousands of supporters of VMRO-DPMNE rallied at the Boris Trajkovski Sports Centre on Sunday at which VMRO-DPMNE leader and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, backed by all his government ministers and numerous party officials, reiterated that the opposition allegations against him had been “created” by foreign intelligence services and their domestic collaborators for the purpose of destabilizing the country and seizing power.

“I know that Macedonia will get out of this stronger. I know that those who orchestrated all of this have underestimated us and did not take into consideration our people’s love of their country and future. Therefore, we are going to win, all our citizens are going to win. I call upon you to stand up because we have a campaign ahead of us, from city to city, from door to door. We have a lot of work to do, many more projects to carry out and many more moments to be proud of.

“Chin up and let us show them Macedonian is much more than what they try to present, that Macedonian is much bigger than the petty interests of a handful of people and certain structures, that Macedonia is stronger than the various scenarios and foreign agendas, and that Macedonians are courageous and honorable people. They won’t break Macedonia, not in our time, not until the last one of us breathes,” Prime Minister Gruevski said.

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Flash News
MIC – March 16, 2015 – 10:34am

-    The economic chambers of Macedonia and Morocco are going to sign a memorandum of cooperation as a first step toward promoting cooperation between Moroccan and Macedonian companies. This was agreed at the first meeting of representatives of the two chambers in Dakhla on Saturday, on the sidelines of the Crans Montana Forum, held at President Gjorge Ivanov’s initiative. Morocco businessmen are interested in the Macedonian market, this is the impression President Gjorge Ivanov got.

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Flash News
MIC – March 13, 2015 – 11:11am

- EU will lose credibility unless it starts the membership negotiations with Macedonia, stressed Slovenian MP Alojz Peterle who welcomed the decision of the European Parliament. Peterle expressed concern for the political situation in Macedonia and the deteriorated relations between the Government and opposition.

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PM GRUEVSKI AND NATO SEC GEN STOLTENBERG DISCUSS PUTSCH AFFAIR AND MACEDONIA-NATO RELATIONS
MIC – March 12, 2015 – 2:43pm

I described everything—what the chief of the opposition told me, the findings of the Interior Ministry and the Prosecution, the court verdict that has already been reached, and the confessions of certain people in the court procedure about the crimes they committed. The rest will be a part of a further court process in Macedonia, which, as I said, will be transparent. We are open to any kind of monitoring in this respect of everything that will be happening, said Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski after meeting NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg in Brussels on Wednesday.

According to unconfirmed information, the putsch case, in which criminal charges were pressed against opposition leader Zoran Zaev, was also discussed at PM Gruevski’s working lunch with several NATO ambassadors, including those of Great Britain and the USA.

The position of NATO is that the whole case needs to be resolved institutionally. Mr. Stoltenberg made it clear that an independent and comprehensive investigation has to be carried out into these very serious allegations and that those responsible are held accountable.  

“It’s not possible for me to comment on the allegations concerning foreign intelligence services having been active in the country. What I can say is that I underlined the importance of freedom of press and of allowing the opposition to have good working conditions. Those are important democratic values that need to be honoured by all parties involved,” Mr. Stoltenberg said.

He thanked Macedonia for its contribution to the NATO missions and praised its defence sector reforms but also said that NATO was watching with concern the latest political developments in Skopje and that the progress made in carrying out reforms depended on the effective democratic dialogue and the widespread trust in the rule of law and freedom of media.

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Flash News
MIC – March 12, 2015 – 10:33am

- Wednesday, the Resolution for the progress of Macedonia was adopted with the majority of votes in the European Parliament proposed by the Slovenian MEP Ivo Vajgl. Nine times in a row the European Parliament called upon the Council of EU to set a date for negotiations start with the Republic of Macedonia, and reminded that the name dispute shouldn’t be an obstacle for starting the negotiations.

 

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PDSH: ZAEV SHOULD KEEP HIS HANDS OFF ALBANIANS
MIC – March 11, 2015 – 2:36pm

The Democratic Party of Albanian (PDSH) leveled a cannonade of insults and allegations against SDSM leader Zoran Zaev saying his goal was to discredit not only PDSH but also the political elites of Albania and Kosovo. BDI reiterated that their leader Ahmeti’s record was crystal clear and that they would defend the interest of the party rather than their ministers and officeholders from Zaev’s ‘bombs’.

The atmosphere in the Albanian political campus has heated up after Zaev told the Albanian television Top Channel that BDI and PDSH were servants to VMRO-DPMNE and that he would reveal recordings showcasing how corrupt certain officials from both parties are.  He also said he had recordings of conversations between Albanian ministers from Macedonia with ministers from Kosovo and Albania.

PDSH leader Menduh Thaci, on the other hand, resolutely stated Zaev had no evidence against him and his associates.

“The kid from Strumica cannot have any criminal files about me because I don’t do that kind of things and don’t let my associates get implicated in criminal activities either,” Thaci said.

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Flash News
MIC – March 11, 2015 – 10:24am

- Most of the MEPs, who Tuesday participated on the debate in the European Parliament for the progress of Macedonia in 2014, concluded that it is for the best if Wednesday they vote for the Resolution of the Slovenian MEP Ivo Vajgl which requests negotiation start for the ninth time in a row.

 

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XHAFERI: WE’RE GOING TO DEFEND BDI, NOT MINISTERS, FROM ZAEV’S ‘BOMBS’, IF NECESSARY
MIC – March 10, 2015 – 3:13pm

A high-ranking BDI source has told Dnevnik that Ali Ahmeti’s party is deliberating whether to wait for SDSM and VMRO-DPMNE to find a way out of the crisis caused by the coup and wiretapping affairs through a foreign-brokered dialogue or to step out of the governing coalition with VMRO-DPMNE, thus risking to complicate the crisis further and cause instability.

Musa Xhaferi, Deputy Prime Minister for the Implementation of the Framework Agreement, is confident that if necessary they are going to defend the party from SDSM leader Zoran Zaev’s political bombs at the expense of ministers and other officeholders from BDI’s ranks.

The political crisis and BDI’s future involvement in the government will be discussed at BDI’s congress scheduled for later this month.

“These issues will certainly be tabled. Our dilemma is whether a decision to walk out of the government would aggravate the political crisis. But such a decision would also expedite the finding of a way out of that same situation. On the other hand, a solution can be found only with foreign mediation. The two parties concerned, VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, should initiate a dialogue so the resolution of the political crisis may begin,” the source says and adds that dialogue is the option that BDI prefer.

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Flash News
MIC – March 10, 2015 – 10:11am

- Monday in Skopje was held the first meeting of the joint committee within the collaboration agreement be-tween the Governments of Macedonia and Montenegro in context of EU accession. Secretaries of State Elena Kuzmanovska and Aleksandar Andrija Pejovik, respectively, opened the meeting, and the goal of these meetings is to strengthen countries’ continuous collaboration in the fields of mutual interest. Secretary of State Pejovik met with Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki before the meeting.

 

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MINISTER POPOSKI HOLDS INFORMAL TALKS WITH GREEK COUNTERPART KOTZIAS
MIC – March 9, 2015 – 2:55pm

Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias are said to have had an open discussion on the sidelines of the informal meeting of the ministers of foreign affairs of the EU in Riga, over the course of which they voiced utterly conflicting views on the contentions issue in the bilateral relations. What they agreed on was that there is mistrust at the political level.

“The political-level mistrust is a reality. In Macedonia it is caused by the decades-long obstructions, the breached agreements and the damage we have suffered because of the blockades. In Greece it is a result of the negative campaign that created mythological fears. Today they are held hostage by the past,” Minister Poposki told Dnevnik.

With such mistrust, according to Poposki, the solution comes down to honoring law but there has to be will for this, too. In his view, there is nevertheless trust among people and businesses from both countries since if this had not been the case there would not have been cooperation between Macedonia and Greece in the areas of economy and tourism, for instance.

Sources from the Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs say the first impression from the meeting with the Greek foreign minister is that the new government in Athens appears less concerned with the name issue and that it is also seeking excuses to leave the problem aside for a while.

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BELGIAN SLABBINCK TO INVEST IN MACEDONIA
MIC – March 6, 2015 – 12:55pm

The Belgian company Slabbinck seated in Bruges, capital of the province of West Flanders in the Flemish Region of Belgium, plans to invest 3 million euros in Macedonia. Initially, it will be a Brownfield investment. The company will operate in a facility in the Skopje municipality of Gazi Baba.

Slabbinck deals in laser cutting and processing of metals and is one of the key clients of a foreign investors already operating in one of Macedonia’s industrial zones. The Agency for Foreign Investments says this is another confirmation of the efforts they have so far made to attract foreign investments in Macedonia.

“New possibilities for creation of jobs and also for cooperation with many local companies will thus open up. It is also important to us that in this initial stage, equipment and machines have been supplied from home companies. In the future, the area will expand and be fitted with most sophisticated machines,” said the Deputy Director of the Agency for Foreign Investments, Kliment Sekerovski.

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GERMAN BUNDESTAG FOREIGN AFFAIRS COMMITTEE DEBATES SITUATION IN MACEDONIA
MIC – March 5, 2015 – 2:16pm

The German government is very much concerned about the growing divide between the opposition SDSM and Nikola Gruevski’s Government. Macedonian institutions are therefore urged to investigate the serious allegations in fair procedures in adherence with international standards.

Germany believes it is very important for the opposition and the Government in Macedonia to make sure the political climate in the country improves so that the common goal of all parties—Macedonia’s EU membership—can be attained. These viewpoints of the German Government were presented Wednesday before the members of the Committee on Foreign Affairs of the Bundestag at a meeting held behind closed door, Vest’s correspondent from Berlin, Silvera Padori-Klenke, reports.

Josip Juratovic from the SPD parliamentary group, who is rapporteur on the Western Balkans at the Committee on Foreign Affairs, told Vest that his own impression as well as the impression of many following the situation in the region was that “the situation in Macedonia is more than alarming and that since 2008 the country has been going backwards”.

“Germany and the whole EU, which view the region favorably, have been trying all along to warn of certain indispensable facts including democratic processes, freedom of media, and independent judiciary. As far as the present situation goes, there are initiatives from both Brussels and separate countries. However, the most important is for both parties to sit at a table and seek out a joint solution to how Macedonia and the Macedonian society may again be given positive grades by Brussels,” Juratovic says.

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Flash News
MIC – March 5, 2015 – 10:19am

- Macedonia remains high on the EU agenda, in the sector for foreign politics and accession negotiations, stressed Wednesday in Brussels the Chief of EU diplomacy Federica Mogherini on the joint press conference with the EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn. Hahn confirmed that he keeps continuous contact with the political leaders in Macedonia and the EU offered help to overcome the current situation.

 

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GRUEVSKI: MY COOPERATION WITH STAVRESKI IS EXCELLENT
MIC – March 4, 2015 – 2:11pm

We have been associates for many years and know each other quite well, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski said Tuesday, commenting on the audio recordings that the opposition SDSM played at a press conference Monday. He also said he had nothing to add to what Minister Stavreski had stated at his press conference Monday that the authenticity of the recordings was yet to be determined in a court procedure.

“We have sorted out many things together. Through dialogue and debates, we have always found the best solutions. We don’t have the problem you think we have. Taking into account all the good things we have done, we can only feel proud,” Gruevski said.

In reference to what SDSM leader Zoran Zaev earlier stated about his relationship with Zoran Verusevski, the former chief of the Macedonian intelligence service, Gruevski said he didn’t have to say much about Zaev since Zaev himself said a great deal with his denials and subsequent confessions.  

“A few months back, Zaev said they didn’t know each other. A little later he admitted they knew each other and finally it turned out they knew each other quite well. At one point a letter emerged that everybody kept silent about but later Zaev himself confirmed its authenticity. Coded message sent via cell phones have also been found and Zaev confirmed they were true. Eventually it transpired that he bought a computer and planned to buy a car to the man he initially claimed he didn’t know. It’s a little strange, isn’t it? And only because he dared take action against the government. There are many people that dared do things against the Government, but I have never heard that Zaev bought all of them cars and computers,” Prime Minister Gruevski said.

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Flash News
MIC – March 3, 2015 – 10:31am

- The United Nations cannot and shouldn’t be indifferent on the breach of human rights and rights of human dignity. The world needs a Council which will act preventive not just reactive and with views which apply serious implications towards all countries which disrespect the rights, commented President of the Republic of Macedonia Gjorge Ivanov in his address on the High-Level Segment of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva.

 

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VMRO-DPMNE’S CENTRAL COMMITTEE: WE WON’T ALLOW DESTABILIZATION AND VIOLENT TAKING OF POWER
MIC – March 2, 2015 – 2:01pm

The Central Committee of VMRO-DPMNE held a meeting on Saturday at which it gave party leader Nikola Gruevski full support in dealing with “the challenges presented by the Social Democratic Party’s irresponsible conduct”.

In the press release issued after the meeting, the Central Committee condemns “the disgraceful and destructive conduct of the SDSM leadership and their strategy for destabilizing the Republic of Macedonia”.

“VMRO-DPMNE has a historical responsibility to fight against these destructive moves whose aim conflicts with the national and state interests. Our message to all is that we will not allow the execution of foreign scenarios, destabilization of the country and violent taking of power contrary to the will of the majority of citizens. All those intent upon pushing the state into such scenarios should give up on time,” the press release says.

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Flash News
MIC – February 27, 2015 – 10:31am

- Thursday marked eleven years from the tragic death of former President Boris Trajkovski. Family members and representatives of the central and local government laid flowers on his grave. Two investigations were performed and two reports were prepared in order to find the reasons for the plane crush.

 

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Flash News
MIC – February 26, 2015 – 10:12am

- All political factors in the Republic of Macedonia should get involved and contribute for solving the political crisis and return the dialogue in the institutions, is the message Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki received from Brussels on the meetings with MEPs Wednesday. Poposki met with President of the Committee on Foreign Affairs Elmar Brok, with the reporter to Macedonia in EP Ivo Vajgl, and with MEPs Eduard Kukan, Tanja Fajon and Joseph Daul.

 

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