Deadlock: European leaders block EU-entry talks with Macedonia and Albania

European leaders are engaged in discussions over whether to allow Macedonia and Albania to open EU accession talks.
French President Emmanuel Macron reportedly stands opposed to accession talks until his request for a serious reform and deepening of the EU, as well as changes to the enlargement process, are accepted. Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte said that his country is opposed to accession talks for Albania, but would leave some room for opening talks with Macedonia – the decoupling option, which is also supported by Spain and Denmark, Politico reports. But France, but also Germany and Italy, were reportedly strongly opposed to decoupling the two countries, leaving Macedonia stuck with Albania.
One option is to draft conclusions that would congratulate the two countries, welcome their efforts, praise their concessions, but without opening accession talks. Under this option, the conclusion would say that the leaders will revert to the enlargement issue in the next Presidency, foll…

Macedonia Only Country of the Region to Decline in New World Tourism Competitiveness Report

Macedonia’s tourism has become more uncompetitive during the last two years, according to the new Travel & Tourism Competitiveness Report 2019 released by the World Economic Forum.
Compared to the last report in 2017, the country’s ranking declines by 12 positions (from 89th to 101st) out of 140 countries reviewed in the report.
The numbers in the new report are disastrous: Macedonia was the only country in the subregion to decline in T&T competitiveness (89th to 101st). The nation’s business environment (40th to 84th), human resources and labour market (83rd to 108th), safety and security (56th to 95th), T&T prioritization (85th to 114th), international openness (93rd to 119th) and ground infrastructure (62nd to 104th) all deteriorated substantially.
The TTC report is published biannually by the World Economic Forum, a non-profit organization based in Geneva, Switzerland. The WEF aims for the report to be used by policy-makers, companies and stakeholders for future devel…

AIMP Media-Player offers Macedonian language support

The AIMP Player is a fancy, free and fully featured audio media player and also offers Macedonian language support.

The AIMP audio player can do more than just play music: with the AIMP Player you can, for example, also stream Internet radio, download CD covers, set tags or manage your entire song library and grab CD tracks and copy them to your computer. An alarm and shutdown function are also part of the player.
In addition, the program of course dominates all standard functions of a media player such as create playlists and provides an equalizer and multi-user support. Windows 7 and later generations of Windows users can also control the player from the taskbar.
Tools for converting music files, various skins, plug-ins and visualizations complete AIMP's rich offering. Which the developer offers for download.
The AIMP player is also available for Android systems.

Supported formats of the AIMP player
AAC, AC3, APE, FLAC, IT, MOD, M4A, M4B, MO3, MPC, MP1, MP2, MP3, MP +, MTM, OGG…

Macedonia: Central Bank says yes to PayPal

The Macedonian Central Bank NBRM says finally yes for online payment services like PayPal. First announcements were made already in 2017 as we reported - see Link here.
While the rest of the world launches rockets into space and brings them back in one piece, talks about wide usage of electric cars or implanting computers into your brain, there is Macedonia, that still has issues with online payments.
It seems that at least for now Macedonia in a recent decision by the Central Bank Authority, will allow citizens and companies to have accounts with PayPal, Skrill and other similar services, finally putting an end to the dark ages, the workarounds, and other struggles that companies, entrepreneurs, freelancers or even simple people that transfer money have faced for years.
Until now Macedonians were not able or authorized to open or hold bank accounts abroad, while with the new amendments citizens and companies will be able to open and hold accounts with all foreign electric payment tr…

Macedonians in Albania demand full respect of minority rights

The Macedonian community in Albania issued a list of demands to the Government, through its MAEI party. MAEI held a congress in Korca and declared that it demands the introduction of the Macedonian language as the official language in each municipal unit where the Macedonians amount to at least 10 percent of the population and that Macedonian minority rights should apply across the country, not just in the three south-eastern municipalities where they are most numerous.
The party also demands a redrawing of the municipal borders and that the two abolished municipalities Golo Brdo and Gora are restored, guaranteed seats in the Albanian Parliament, public education in Macedonian and freedom to create associations of citizens and political parties. Macedonians in Albania also demand full respect for their religious rights, publicly funded TV and radio channels in Macedonian and subsidies for Macedonian language newspapers.

Vardar Skopje victorious in Champions League season opener vs Montpellier

The reigning EHF Champions League winners from Macedonia, RK Vardar Skopje has opened the new season in the best possible way with a victory in Montpellier, the french team won the Champions League a year before in 2018.
The champion RK Vardar Skopje defeated Montpellier 33:31 (16:17) in the first match of the VELUX handball EHF Champions League 2019/20.
The French team had the lead as the final of the game approached, but the defending champion was able to turn the match around. Even with one player less, as german import player Dissinger was misconducted in the last two minutes of the game.
The third Spanish coach in the Macedonian capital, David Pisonero, had a perfect debut on the same place like last year Roberto Garcia Parrondo (RK Vardar beat Montpellier past  18/19season in the first round 27:24).
Slovenian playmaker Stas Skube was the man of the match with seven goals, three of them in the last five minutes which forced turnover from 27:28 to 33:31 at the end. Dibirov was th…

Macedonian Marvel Elif Elmas joins italian SSC Napoli

The young macedonian marvel Elif Elmas  joins italian Serie A club SSC Napoli. The 19-year-old midfielder Elmas had been sold to Napoli for 16 million euros ($17.9 million).

The Istanbul club stated that Napoli would pay a maximum bonus of 1.5 million euros to Fenerbahçe upon the club's success and the player's performance in his new club. In addition, Fenerbahçe could see another bonus of up to 1.5 million euros if Elmas signs to another club in the future.
Elmas signed a five-year contract with about 1.3 million euros per season for the youngster.
Elmas joined the trukish top-club Fenerbahçe Istanbul in July 2017 for 180,000 euros from the Macedonian club FK Rabotnicki Skopje. 
During his two-year stay in the Istanbul team, he scored four goals in 47 appearances for Fenerbahçe and has been one of the fans' favorites with his unique and creative offensive style, even in what was arguably Fenerbahçe's worst season of the decade. Elmas also made his wya into the macedon…


Cannabis oil available in pharmacies across Macedonia without prescription

Nine Vinica Fortress terracotta icons to be exhibited at Oxford’s Ashmolean Museum

Time Travel: Skopje Antique Shops Are Full of Objects that Have Long Been Forgotten

Macedonian Marvel Elif Elmas joins italian SSC Napoli

Greek jets mount NATO practice flights over Macedonia