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Manevski: USAID - First Donаtor of Soros in Macedonia


Soros' Open Society Foundation acts as a non-governmental government in Macedonia, and the largest donations it receives are from USAID, former minister Mihajlo Manevski writes, in a column published in Dnevnik daily.

Last few months, Soros' Open Society Macedonia Foundation - FOOM, and the non-governmental organizations under its cap, have disagreed strongly and have poured crocodile tears, as if a terrible accident hit them. They complain to representatives of foreign countries, organizations, and ambassadors. They complain everywhere, and they attack the public institutions and the government, which put pressure on their work. Some electronic and printed media and portals, controlled and financed by them, have continuously published headlines that with the controls of the Public Revenue Office, The Finance Police, and the Ministry of Interior, an attack on the NGOs was carried out, and that the PRO and the FP were abused for making a case against NGOs. The atmosphere is heating up that these activities have been implemented with the goal of  silencing the civil movement in the country. It is unacceptable to them for inspectors from PRO and FP to enter the NGOs financed by Soros Foundation, and with means from US taxpayers, and to control the material-financial work. They estimate that as a witch hunt, unprecedented pressure, meddling with their work, and revanchism.


Soros - Tutor of the NGO Sector

In the public appearances and statements from 10 March this years, reported by some broadcasting companies and portals, Fani Karanfilova-Panovska, executive director of Soros Foundation, stated that: "The civil society of Macedonia has one of its most difficult moments since its existence. The civil societies, since mid-December, to this day, have faced serious pressure from the state institutions. In more than 20 organizations, there are still PRO inspectors present, whose investigations are regarding the five-year work of the civil organizations.

Especially worrying was this past week, when 13 organizations were visited by the Finance Police, and the Ministry of Interior, on the demand of the Public Prosecutor's Office in a preliminary investigation on unknown grounds, because the way they lead the investigations points out that they do not know what they are looking for". Even though anything can be expected by this Foundation and its representatives, still, this is too insolent and shameless.

In the Republic of Macedonia, there are 14,000 registered non-governmental organizations, recorded in the Central register, 7,280 of which are active, with updated status for 2015, and they perform the things they are registered for. Who authorized the executive director of the Soros Foundation, Fani Karanfilova-Panovska, to speak in the name of the whole civil society in Macedonia, and to impose herself as a tutor and protector of the civil sector?

With what right does she offends many wonderful, dedicated citizens in the associations from different areas who help the citizens and the society, and the protection of nature. It is obvious that, starting from the financial power, this Foundation fights for further commanding, and keeping captive and dependent, the non-governmental sector in Macedonia. With such statements, she wants to distract the attention from the Soros Foundation, right now when things come up to the surface, and when manipulations that can not be hidden are being revealed.

Soros Foundation - NGO Government in Macedonia

In the work strategy of FOOM from 2014 to 2017, it is stated that FOOM "is dedicated to bringing the democracy and democratic rule and is fulfilling its strategic goals through the support of 12 civic organizations". This would mean that FOOM will bring back democracy and democratic rule using these 12 NGOs. Those are the foundations on which  FOOM is standing and those foundations can go up with great funds, grants, honorariums, bonuses and contracts for realization of projects mainly used "To bring back democracy".
Those are the well-known Soros NGOs, a list of benefactors such as NGO Info Center, Foundation Metamorphosis, Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, Forum - Center for Strategic Research and Documentation, Eurothink - Center for European Strategies, Transparency Macedonia, Center for Democratic Development and Initiatives, Reactor - Research in Action, Youth Educational Forum, HERA, Macedonian Center for European Education, web-sites Plusinfo, Okno, A1on, and Portalb, and dozens of organizations that have gotten grants from the Foundation and from USAID for support of the civic society. 

Trained Demonstrators for Protests

Things have gone so far that, with an unprecedented insolence, it is pointed out that trainings that had been done, were confirmed on protested. Thus, in FOOM's report for 2014, it is said the Metamorphosis Foundation enlarged and strengthened the alternative infrastructure for informing and mobilizing the people by using new technologies. "Through a sequence of trainings, mentorships, and tactical support of their efforts, and through an online promotion of thematic networks of NGOs and independent media, the capacity of the core of NGOs, activists, and intellectuals for using the new technologies was strengthened". The gradual success of adopting this type of acting by the civil sector "was evident in the increased effect of using new technologies during organizing, taking place, and reporting on the protests in the second half of 2014, among which the student protests, the freelancer protests, the GTC protests etc! Metamorphosis Foundation carried on these activities in 2015 as well. Undoubtedly, the result of the new technologies was checked and confirmed at the protests, and that is enlisted as a success.

We saw all the things that trained protestors could do by in the following years, as well; they demolished and damaged many objects and monuments, they attacked the police, and they caused great damages to the country. Metamorphosis Foundation, in the income balance for 2014, presented incomes from memberships, gifts, donations, and other sources in the amount of 29,661,520 denars, and in 2015 almost double - 57,765,814 denars, which is more than one million dollars.

USAID - Donator to Soros Open Society - Macedonia (SOSM)

Page 13 of the SOSM report of 2012, read that USAID had recognized the efforts for support of the civic society which resulted in signing an Agreement for cooperation on implementation of the USAID Project on civil society. The agreement was signed when Vladimir Milcin, former high official of SDSM, was CEO of the Foundation. The value of the contract at the time was USD 2.5 million for the period between February 2012 - August 2014. That is when USAID became sponsor for the Soros foundation in Macedonia. In the final part the contract read that USAID is first on the list of donators, like in 2016. The agreement enabled SOSM to extend its intervention and to award 26 grants. It has not been stated how large the grants were, nor what organizations got them. Mid-2014 the contract was renewed until August 2016. The financial reports of SOSM for 2013, 2014, 2015, show funds the Foundation spent in the past years. In 2013 the total amount of money spent was MKD 319,784,116 of which MKD 210,583,675 were from the Open Society Foundation and the rest from other donations. In 2014 the total amount of money spent was MKD 218,046,776, of which MKD 165,706,323 were from the foundation, and the rest from other donators. Lastly, in 2015 SOSM spent MKD 310,130,413, of which MKD 209,998,890 were from the foundation and the remaining from other donators.  There is still no official financial report for 2016. The reports show that in 3 years the SOSM has spent over MKD 848 million (over USD 15 million), of which MKD 586 million came from Soros's foundation, and the other MKD 297 million (over USD 5.3 million) came from other donations. The reports do not say who the donators are. Whether apart from the USD 2.5 million from the contract there were other funds from USAID, will be revealed in the answer to the senators and congressmen.

Law on Organizations and Foundations

The Republic of Macedonia has been taking good care of the development and promotion of the civil sector. On April 12, 2010 a Law on Organizations was adopted with the consensus of the NGO sector, fully included in the preparations of the and the adoption of the Law and with European expertise and fulfills all top EU standards. Article 49 of the Law allows NGOs to receive funds from the Budget of Macedonia and the budgets of the municipalities and the City of Skopje. The Government and the organs in charge make the annual plans and programs to distribute the funds to the NGO and publish them.

The CEO of the Foundation has not mentioned this Law in his many speeches and groundless verbal attacks. If he had respected this law, he would have known that according to Article 101, the organ in charge of controlling the financial work of the organizations is the Ministry of Finance. The Financial Police and the Ministry of Interior have acted following a request of the Public Prosecutor's Office in accordance with the stipulations of the Law on Criminal Procedure.

The Foundation and the NGOs, along with the media it finances, continues to have negative approach of the situation in the country, and they are most bothered by the work of the organs.

Slogans like SDSM

Many years, and great financial means of the Soros foundation have created this negative energy and lies and continuous degrading and breaking the governmental system, the institutions and the officials, create great damage to the society and the citizens. Many indicators show that these activities are only beneficial to the opposed SDSM, created of the former Communist party, initially as SKM-PDP, then the Social-democratic Union of Macedonia, with the only goal - to come back to the ruling, as every cost.

The slogan "bringing the democracy and freedom back" is best known in the speeches of the SDSM members in the pre-electoral and post-electoral period, and the Foundation has dedicated the Strategy for development from 2014 - 2017 to bring back the democracy and democratic rule.

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