DIALOGUE BETWEEN EUROPEAN AND MACEDONIAN PARLIAMENTS RESUMES
MIC – November 27, 2014 – 2:09pm

After an 18-month break, the dialogue between the European Parliament and Macedonia resumed in Strasbourg on Wednesday. Although Alojz Peterle, Co-Chairman of the EU-Macedonia Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC), had earlier called on the opposition to take part in the meeting, the Macedonian delegation Wednesday consisted solely of representatives of VMRO-DPMNE and BDI.

The JPC held its last meeting in May 2013 shortly before Brussels decided to put on hold the High-Level Accession Dialogue, the meetings of the JPC and the Enlargement Commissioner's visits to Macedonia due to the failed political dialogue in the country. Whether this means that Brussels wishes to begin from scratch and renew its relations with Macedonia will become clearer at the EU summit in December.

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Flash News
MIC – November 26, 2014 – 10:34am

- Foreign Affairs Minister Nikola Poposki addressed the inauguration of the Honorary Consulate of the Republic of Macedonia in Ohrid, and highlighted the importance of the several-decade friendship and partnership of Macedonia and Poland. The event was attended by the state undersecretary of the Poland Ministry of Foreign Affairs Artur Nowak-Far and the state undersecretary in the Poland Ministry of Infrastructure and Development Marcin Kubiak.

 

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Flash News
MIC – November 25, 2014 – 10:16am

- Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski Monday officially undertook the one-year presidency with the Central European Initiative (CEI) from the former chairman from Austria. Prime Minister announced that the main priorities of the Macedonian Presidency will be the membership of the countries from Western Balkan in EU and the construction of the road infrastructure.

 

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NEW ETHNIC ALBANIAN PARTY PROMOTED
MIC – November 24, 2014 – 2:48pm

A civil concept by which all ethnic groups in the country would be equal and ruling out the option of Macedonia's federalization are some of the key principles of Besa, the new ethnic Albanian political party, promoted in Skopje over the weekend, Dnevnik reports.

"Our main commitment is ensuring a new political and social order in the country. We need to build a new state different from those created in 1945, 1991 or 2001. Not only the Framework Agreement but all other previous orders in Macedonia were adopted in a time of war. We should pause to think what next needs to be done with this state," said Bilal Kasami, coordinator of Besa's initiative council.

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Flash News
MIC – November 21, 2014 – 10:41am

- More than ten foreign investments come as result from the work of the 28 promoters and the diplomatic-consular representations, announced the chief of Macedonian diplomacy, Nikola Poposki according to which the economic diplomacy has positive effects.

 

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POPOSKI: GREEK ARGUMENTS ARE UNTENABLE
MIC – November 19, 2014 – 4:20pm

Greece's stance is unacceptable, unreasonable and in breach of the basic principle of honoring international law, said Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki at the round table which took place in Skopje on Tuesday, focusing on Macedonia's prospects for NATO membership in the wake of the latest summit of the Alliance.

"Many decision-makers in the NATO and EU member states cannot remain indifferent to this kind of arguments," he said in reference to Greek Foreign Minister Evangelos Venizelos' latest statement according to which Greece has no intention of changing anything in its position and will carry on demanding that Macedonia's new name be both for external and internal use.

On the one hand, he said, this is demonstration of power by a country that is inside the club and on the other hand this is a serious handicap for the leadership of a country that considers itself the cradle of democracy.

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STUDENTS STAGE PROTEST MARCH AGAINST EXTERNAL EXAMINATION AT UNIVERSITIES
MIC – November 18, 2014 – 1:38pm

November 17, International Students' Day, was marked Monday with a protest march that several thousand students staged against the government proposal of introducing an external examination at all universities—both private and public—on the results of which it will depend whether students will be allowed to continue their higher education or not.

"No to the External," "The External Exam is Titanic for Our Education," "We Are People, Not Numbers," "This is the Beginning, Not the End," and "You Want to Make a Monument Out of Our Education, Too" read some of the banners carried by the students of the University of Ss Cyril and Methodius.

The protest began from outside the University of Ss Cyril and Methodius and ended outside the Ministry of Education where a small delegation of students held talks with representatives of the institution. All along, they were escorted by about a hundred police officers taking care of the safety of those protesting and of all other citizens.

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Flash News
MIC – November 18, 2014 – 10:01am

-    From 2014 to 2020, 664.2 million euros from the EU will be available to Macedonia via the IPA2 Programme, of which 205.9 million euros is for carrying out EU membership reforms, 298.8 million euros for regional and socio-economic development, 53.2 million euros for employment, social policies, education, gender equality promotion and human resources development, and 106.3 million euros for agriculture and rural development.

 

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MINISTER POPOSKI: I NEVER ACCEPTED TO NEGOTIATE MACEDONIAN IDENTITY
MIC – November 17, 2014 – 10:17am

Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki contradicted the reports that he had accepted to talk about identity issues, in view of the proposal that BIRN has recently revealed. According to Poposki, those reports are misinformation and manipulation mismatched with reality, whose primary goal is to underestimate Macedonia's positions to this strategically important issue.

"The positions we have assumed to this imposed dispute are principled and unambiguous," reads his announcement.

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SPANISH AMBASSADOR CARRANZA SUPPORTS IDEA OF ASSUMING NEW APPROACH TO NAME DISPUTE RESOLUTION
MIC – November 14, 2014 – 2:33pm

At his first meeting with reporters on assuming the office of Spanish Ambassador to Macedonia, Mr. Ramon Abaroa Carranza said his country supported the idea of the European Commission's assuming a new approach to Macedonia for the purpose of unblocking the country's European integration.

"For the first time ever, there are ideas in the European Commission of assuming a different, more active approach to Macedonia, that is, to the resolution of the name dispute and the country's European integration. I do not know how these ideas could be carried out. What I do know is there are ideas which have not yet been developed in detail," Ambassador Carranza said.

Madrid believes that the name dispute is a bilateral issue that should be resolved within the framework of the UN, while Spain, Mr. Carranza said, supports the European integration of Macedonia even more now that the European Commission has issued its sixth recommendation for opening membership negotiations.

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NIMETZ SAYS NO PROGRESS MADE IN NEW ROUND OF NAME ISSUE TALKS IN NEW YORK
MIC – November 13, 2014 – 3:12pm

After meeting the negotiators of Macedonia and Greece, Vasko Nuamovski and Adamantios Vassilakis, in New York on Tuesday and Wednesday, UN mediator Matthew Nimetz said no progress had been made in the resolution of the dispute. He also informed that he did not put forward a new proposal and that he merely discussed with the negotiators some of the ideas tabled in the past.

"Both parties reiterated their sincere wish to see this dispute resolved, to develop good relations, peace and stability in the region. We all know this is a very difficult issue. We have not made any progress today but we are determined to continue talking in the months ahead. We discussed certain ideas from the past, how successful they can be and how they could change to be better," Ambassador Nimetz said.

He also said he hoped that Macedonia and Greece now have better understanding of the points the other party found critical. Macedonia negotiator Naumovski reiterated Macedonia's readiness for holding talks at a higher level to help resolve the dispute. Greece has long been rejecting this proposal.

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Flash News
MIC – November 11, 2014 – 10:20am

-    Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and Dan Oryan, the Israeli Ambassador to Macedonia, signed a protocol on diplomatic training of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of both countries in Skopje on Monday. The protocol creates conditions for promoting relations and establishing regular cooperation between Macedonia and Israel.

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Flash News
MIC – November 7, 2014 – 9:24am

- German Foreign Minister Frank Walter-Steinmeier at the conference at the Aspen Institute in Berlin, in relation to the dispute between Macedonia and Greece, said that Germany cannot order Greece to solve the issue. US Deputy Assistant Secretary of State Hoyt Yee added that the name issue is not only a bilateral issue but a regional one. Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said that the six-year postponement of the start of negotiations has consequences for Macedonia.

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BERLIN GATHERS AGAIN WESTERN BALKAN COUNTRIES
MIC – November 6, 2014 – 1:58pm

The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of Germany and Great Britain, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Philip Hammond, gathered in Berlin Wednesday their counterparts from the Western Balkans at a conference that was a follow-up to the traditional annual meetings held at this level and to the leaders' meeting held with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in August of this year.

The conference was held in the offices of the British Embassy and was split into two parts—a political and an economic one. It was said at the beginning that the political part would focus on certain pressing issues in the region, without any explanation though what those issues are.

The goal of this initiative is giving a new impetus to the resolution of pending issues while attributing just as much relevance to economic cooperation. The meeting was also attended by representatives of the EU and NATO, as well as by Hoyt Brian Lee from the Bureau for European and Eurasian Affairs of the US Department of State.

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Flash News
MIC – November 5, 2014 – 10:40am

- Upon the invitation of the heads of the German and British diplomacy, Frank-Walter Steinmeier and Philip Hammond, Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki on Wednesday is to take part in the Conference of Foreign Minister of Southeast Europe in Berlin.

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Flash News
MIC – November 4, 2014 – 9:16am

- Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday opened an honorary consulate in Bitola and well-known Macedonian singer Biljana Damjanovska Jancevska was chosen as the Honorary Consul. The honorary consulate was opened by the deputy ministers of foreign affairs of both countries, Dragana Kiprijanovska and Ana Trisic Babic.

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MACEDONIA'S CREDIT RATING CONFIRMED
MIC – November 3, 2014 – 2:41pm

Macedonia has retained its stable credit rating. The world-renowned credit rating agency Standard & Poor's has confirmed its previous BB- domestic and foreign currency credit rating for Macedonia, based on the country's moderate level of public and foreign debt and the expectation of an average economic growth rate of 3.4 percent of GDP, thanks to the stable FDI influx. This is seen as a good signal to foreign and domestic investors.

According to Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski, this is excellent news because Macedonia's stable rating has been confirmed for several years in a row, as opposed to the credit ratings of many other countries, which have been lowered.

"The investment banks and the real sector investors follow these ratings and these movements and to them this is confirmation that the country is going in the right direction," Minister Stavreski said.

A positive assessment of Macedonia's credit rating has recently been issued by the Fritsch agency as well and another confirmation for the country's stability came when Macedonia issued a Eurobond at an interest rate of 3.9 percent, the lowest rate at which a country in the region has ever borrowed.

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EU ALLOCATES EUR 664 MN FOR MACEDONIA VIA IPA 2 PROGRAMME 2014-2020
MIC – October 31, 2014 – 2:40pm

The EU has allocated a total of 664 million euros, or 320 euros per capita, for Macedonia via the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance IPA 2 2014-2020. According to the National IPA 2 2014-2020 Document, presented Thursday by Deputy Prime Minister for European Affairs Fatmir Beismi and EU Ambassador Aivo Orav, the money will be used for carrying out strategic activities in four key areas: democracy; rule of law and human rights; socio-economic development, education and human resources development; and agriculture and rural development.

Deputy Prime Minister Besimi stressed that the IPA 2 Programme was strong evidence that Macedonia's Partnership with the EU was on a sound footing and that Brussels continued to strongly support the enlargement of the EU toward the Western Balkans including Macedonia.

"Another fact that proves the friendship and the EU's commitment is the fact that this second framework is larger than the previous one. Although the EU is going through a tough period of economic recovery, its member states decided to allocate a portion of the money of their taxpayers to enlargement," Besimi said.

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SHOTS FIRED AT GOVERNMENT BUILDING, PERPETRATORS NOT YET FOUND
MIC – October 30, 2014 – 12:44pm

Two projectiles were fired at the government building in the center of Skopje on Tuesday night, police informed. One of them hit the roof of the building and the other the side of it. They were both provided to the relevant institutions for further investigation, Vest reports.

The government security reported to the police late on Tuesday at about 10 pm that two detonations were heard in the government building. Teams of the Interior Ministry together with a public prosecutor immediately conducted an onsite investigation and two hours later the projectiles were found. Taking into account the sizes of the holes they made, the projectiles must have been fired from a high caliber weapon.

"We are working to determine the type of the weapon from which these projectiles were fired, the direction from which they came, the motives and the identity of the perpetrators," Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska said on Wednesday.

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Flash News
MIC – October 29, 2014 – 9:25am

- Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski attended Tuesday the commemoration "Belgium Remembers" dedicated to the centenary of the First World War. The event, attended by guests from 83 countries, was hosted by King Philip and Queen Matilda.

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JOLEVSKI: USA IS NOT READY TO IMPOSE SOLUTION TO NAME DISPUTE
MIC – October 28, 2014 – 3:47pm

The Declaration on Strategic Partnership signed with the USA in May of 2008, closer cooperation between the Macedonian Parliament and the US Congress and concrete foreign investments from 2007 to 2014 are the benefits from the period during which Zoran Jolevski served as Macedonian Ambassador to the USA, said Antonio Milososki, chairman of the parliamentary committee on foreign affairs, at the session Monday at which Jolevski, former ambassador and name dispute negotiator and now Minister of Defense, presented an account of his achievements.

Asked whether the USA is doing enough or could do more to help resolve the name dispute, and whether the Americans could become more involved and could balance better their pressure on Macedonia and Greece, Jolevski said that the US position was that Europe would not be fully united as long as the Western Balkans is kept outside of the EU and NATO.

"The US has made it clear that it supports the process carried out under UN auspices and that it wants a solution to the dispute to be found as soon as possible. At this moment, I don't believe they are ready to become involved in this process and to impose a solution. In my view, pressure is being put equally on both Macedonia and Greece," Jolevski said.

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Flash News
MIC – October 27, 2014 – 9:24am

- The foundations of the Church of St Zlata Meglenska in Zagreb were laid on Sunday. This is going to be the first temple of the Macedonian Orthodox Church in the region. The ground-breaking ceremony was attended by Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, who said on that occasion that the construction of the church only confirmed the already strong ties between Macedonia and Croatia.

 

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Flash News
MIC – October 24, 2014 – 9:35am

- Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki and Deputy Economy Minister Kristijan Delev participated in the conference titled "Western Balkans – Economic Governance and Connection" in Belgrade on Thursday, at which the new European economic approach was presented and accepted.

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PARLIAMENT PASSES CONCLUSIONS ON EC REPORT ON MACEDONIA'S PROGRESS
MIC – October 22, 2014 – 2:39pm

At the end of Tuesday's debate, the majority MPs accepted the conclusions drafted based on the EC report on Macedonia's progress in 2014. Only the MPs of PDSH voted against.

Aleksandar Nikolovski from VMRO-DPMNE welcomed the recommendation from the EC for opening membership negotiations with Macedonia as recognition for the country's political leaders and citizens and praised the EC's principled policy of recommending talks for the sixth time even though the European Council has refused to set a date for opening talks for five years.

He once again appealed to SDSM to return to Parliament because, he said, as it is, SDSM risks being marginalized as a party, which, in fact, has already started to happen.

"The problem of the Republic of Macedonia is called Greece because this country blocks Macedonia's membership of the Euro-Atlantic structures," he said.

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Flash News
MIC – October 20, 2014 – 8:17am

- Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov was awarded Prix de la Fondation 2014 of the Crans Montana Forum, informs the Board of the Forum. President Ivanov is awarded for his personal contribution to the activities and achievements in all areas of society, and for his commitment to the defense of fundamental freedoms.

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Flash News
MIC – October 17, 2014 – 8:28am

- President of the Swiss Confederation Didier Burkhalter on Thursday in Bern received Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov and both of them stressed the desire for greater cooperation in all fields. The Macedonian President extended gratitude for the support that official Bern gives the country and President Burkhalter expressed assurance that the cooperation will resume in the future too.

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Twenty years of diplomatic relations
MIC – October 16, 2014 – 8:22am
20 godini diplomatski odnosi
 
 

Twenty years since the establishment of diplomatic ties with 18 countries from all continents and Vatican were marked with a ceremonious academy in the Macedonian National Theater. In his speech, Minister Nikola Poposki said that the twenty years should be used as a bridge for promotion of the cooperation in the future.

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INTELLIGENCE AGENTS FROM 20 COUNTRIES DISCUSS CONTAINING JIHADIST RECRUITMENT IN OHRID
MIC – October 14, 2014 – 1:54pm

Representatives of intelligence and security services of 20 countries from the region and beyond attend a 2 day conference in Ohrid behind closed doors in a bid to seek out ways to contain the spread of religious radicalism among the young and stop them from joining militants in Syria and Iraq, Dnevnik reports.

The Interior Ministry has confirmed that such a meeting is taking place in Ohrid on 13 and 14 October but has refused to reveal information what countries the conference attendees come from or what activities are to follow.

The meeting is part of the collaboration of the Balkan and some of the Western services in the crackdown on jihadists from the region.

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Flash News
MIC – October 13, 2014 – 10:12am

-    Macedonia will receive 157 million euros from the World Bank to fund its road infrastructure. The money is split in two credits, the first of which of 52 million euros has already been approved by the WB's Board of Directors, while the second one of 105 million euros is expected to receive approval from the Board early next year, said Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski who together with National Bank Governor Dimitar Bogov and other officials held meetings with the leaders of the IMF and the WB at their annual meeting in Washington.

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Flash News
MIC – October 10, 2014 – 10:33am

-    Macedonia is celebrating 11 October, Day of the Uprising against Fascism. Together with 2 August, this day is a symbol of the Macedonian resistance and struggle for independence. Historians say it is high time all Macedonians unified over crucial national issues and used history as a motive for unity in all areas of society.

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