(GVO) – During 2015 and 2016, Macedonia’s state-owned railway charged refugees, who had crossed into the country’s territory while fleeing war, conflict, persecution, and other injustices, five times the normal price of a ticket. The move was widely criticized for seeming to profit off of…
Macedonia (GV) – Investigative journalists in Macedonia say the country’s ruling party VMRO-DPMNE owns properties that by law it shouldn’t, and that party officials in government positions have abused their power to benefit the party. The Center for Investigative Journalism SCOOP earlier revealed that Macedonia’s main ruling…
Serbian government officials are claiming that uproar over alleged plans to establish a state body to persuade women to avoid abortions is all a misunderstanding.
Slavica Đukić Dejanović, a minister without portfolio responsible for demography and population policy, reportedly told pro-government tabloid Informer confirming that the state would “form a body that would raise awareness of all women about the harmful side effects of abortions.” Several other media outlets then picked up on the statement. According to news portal Alo.rs, the council would provide counseling on pregnancy and its termination, and “would include the civil sector, priests and various experts that would be able to help.”
A very un-Balkan thing happened during the Macedonian election. Instead of voting for ‘their’ ethnic parties, many ethnic Albanians decided to vote for the opposition Social Democrats (SDSM), who recently re-branded themselves as more multi-ethnic.
Currently, Macedonia is going through the tumultuous process of forming a new government after parliamentary elections on 11 December. The initial election results are controversial — and contested — so it’s uncertain which party will have more members of parliament in the end. Nevertheless, even though the ruling parties seem to have a slight lead, it is evident that their support has dropped dramatically in comparison to previous elections.
Macedonians are outraged their government is asking for flood relief donations, while spending millions in taxpayers money on a massive ferris wheel, and that they are not diverting critical construction resources and machinery towards flood relief.
At least 21 people died, and dozens are missing and injured, in floods that hit the Macedonian capital Skopje, following torrential rains on August 5. The water level in some areas reached a height of 1.5 metres (4 ft 11 in) because the drainage systems were faulty or did not exist.
Protesters of the ‘Colorful Revolution’ in Macedonia claim they won’t be intimidated by the police announcement that they would press criminal charges against the bravest among them. The anti-corruption protests, while non-violent, are far from passive, and include marches, performances, and throwing paint at objects that symbolize the impunity and poor governance of the regime. According to experts, the charges are illegal from several points of view.
Under Macedonian law, such ‘painting’ is considered a misdemeanor, with a fine of 50 euros (58 US dollars) should a uniformed policeman or sanitary inspector catch the perpetrator in the act. Contrary to the law, the police have been calling in people suspected of painting for questioning. The protesters consider this a form of intimidation which, in fact, fueled their anger and increased their numbers.
While the ‘Colorful Revolution’ protests take place in over 20 cities across Macedonia, they have been most frequent and intensive in the capital, Skopje and second biggest city, Bitola. On Friday, June 3, the police increased the pressure by announcing their intent to press criminal charges against seven protesters in Skopje, and against 26 protesters in Bitola. This gives the situation a much higher level of gravity — if the public prosecutors approve investigations under such charges, they may involve arrests, detention and possible prison sentences.
Facing street protests with crowds in the thousands, Macedonian officials are intensifying the police response to the so-called “I Protest” movement (#протестирам| #protestoj). Half a dozen prominent demonstrators have already been detained and placed under house arrest on charges of participating in riots.
Among those arrested is a 19-year-old law student named Borjan Eftimov, whom police summoned for questioning in mid-April. After he voluntarily reported to the police station, he was charged with ransacking a presidential public outreach office on April 13 and placed under house arrest for eight days. Eftimov admits to throwing stones at the building’s window and removing a chair from inside, but law enforcement officers have refused to let him plead guilty formally.
Пока в нескольких городах Македонии продолжаются протесты против безнаказанности коррупционеров, полиция поместила пять участников демонстраций под домашний арест [мак] и намерена предъявить обвинения в участии в преступном формировании и массовых беспорядках нескольким другим.
25 апреля власти сначала вызвали нескольких участников протестов на допрос, а затем арестовали их. Среди них профессор Здравко Савески (PhD) и Владимир Куновски; оба являются основателями недавно сформированной левой политической партии «Левица» (мак, Левые). Они обвиняются в участии в преступном формировании и были помещены под домашний арест на восемь дней [мак].