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Greek MOFA secret funds financed Macedonian, Albanian media says Greek news portal

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Nearly one million euros from the secret funds of the Greek Foreign Ministry has been used to finance media outlets in Macedonia and Albania and as financial support for Orthodox Christian churches, according to reports published by Greece’s iefimerida news portal.
The text prompted a reaction from the PM’s office, MIA reports from Athens also citing reports of the Efimerida ton sindakton newspaper that the prosecution has ordered investigation into how and who leaked the confidential information.
iefimerida writes that the information dates to October 10, the last time the Greek Parliament was informed about the secret funds, in fact one week before outgoing FM Nikos Kotzias and Defense Minister Panos Kammenos fell out.
“Information reveal that the sealed document sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs had three codes, and the total amount put at a disposal was close to EUR 1.000.000. The first code referred to money distributed to media outlets in Albania. The second code referred…

World Bank: Macedonia’s public debt is expected to reach 50 percent this year

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Macedonia’s economy recovered significantly since 2017 and positive movements are emerging supported by private investments and consumption. Growth this year is projected at 2.5 percent, next year at 2.9 percent and at 3.2 percent in 2020. These projections can be affected by interruption of the reform process by election cycles and failure to realize fiscal consolidation.

This is the assessment of the World Bank in its Regular Economic Report for the Western Balkans, presented Thursday in Skopje.
Macedonia made the biggest progress of all six Western Balkan countries, according to Marco Mantovanelli, World Bank Country Manager. Gradual growth is expected by 2020, however projections are based on acceleration of the EU accession process and the reform momentum. The World Bank follows developments and it will be taken into account in upcoming projections, it was noted.
If there is political instability and insecurity, Mantovanelli said, if it has a minimal impact, accompanied by an ac…

Macedonia slided down in WEF Global Competitiveness Report

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Macedonia is ranked 84th in the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, released by the World Economic Forum. Comparing to 2016-2017 a slide down from 68th.
The GCR includes 140 countries, assessed in 12 pillars: institutions, infrastructure, ICT adoption, macroeconomic stability, health, skills, product market, labor market, financial system, market size, business dynamism, and innovation capability.
Macedonia is best ranked in pillar business dynamism (57th) and worst in market size (109th).
The United States tops the 2018 Global Competitiveness Report, followed by Singapore and Germany. The bottom of the list is occupied by Haiti, Yemen and Chad.

Macedonia cancelled again Public call for financial support for Low-Cost Airlines

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The Ministry of Transport and Communications has again cancelled the public call for financial support of airlines, released on September 13.
Minister Goran Sugareski told a press conference on Wednesday that Wizz Air was the only company to submit a bid, which does not correspond to the criteria of the public call.
In the bid, Wizz Air is planning introduce four destinations from Ohrid-based airport “St.Paul the Apostle” as of August 2019, which goes against one of the tender criteria.
The call clearly reads that the airline is obliged to introduce two flights from the Ohrid airport as of January 2019, and additional two flights within a year from the agreement’s signing. Wizz Air has offered to introduce all four destinations in August 2019. Therefore, the commission established that the conditions of the public call have not been met and recommended that the call is cancelled. This leaves me with no other option than to cancel the procedure,” said Minister Sugareski.
He added tha…

37th Skopje Jazz Festival kicks off today

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The 37th Skopje Jazz Festival, which kicks off Thursday, is focused on contemporary jazz. The musicians scheduled to perform are coming especially for the festival and their concerts, with the exception of David Murray’s, are not part of tours. This is the main characteristic of the festival’s 37th edition, which makes it different from past editions.

“Jazz, too, has its own transformations and in recent years, the trend in jazz is improvisation and creative music. Hence, the programme is more difficult relaying mostly in improvisation. And for this array of performances we have the right people,” Oliver Belopeta, Director of the Skopje Jazz Festival, told a news conference Monday revealing details about the festival.
The 37th Skopje Jazz Festival until Oct. 21 will offer exclusive jazz performances by world-famous artists.
This year’s festival lineup includes one of UK’s most innovative pianists and composers, Alexander Hawkins, who will give a jazz piano recital at the Macedonian O…

US Department of State: We urge leaders in Macedonia to rise above partisan politics

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We urge leaders in the Macedonian parliament to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country, US State Department official told Greece’s state-run news agency ANA-MPA.
In regard to the resignation of the Greece’s FM Nikos Kotzias, the US State Department thanked Greek official for his dedicated service to improving Greek-US relations and for his role in achieving the historic Prespa Agreement, MIA reports from Athens.
The US strongly supports the agreement’s full implementation, which will allow Macedonia to take its rightful place in NATO and the EU as the Republic of North Macedonia, contributing to regional stability, security and prosperity. As Macedonia’s parliament continues deliberation on constitutional changes, we urge leaders to rise above partisan politics and seize this historic opportunity to secure a brighter future for the country to become a full-fledged member of Western institutions,” the official adde…

Asian tiger mosquito discovered in Macedonia

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The Asian tiger mosquito has been discovered on the territory of the Republic of Macedonia. Mapping on the entire territory is ongoing aimed at discovering where the mosquito has spread. The agency conducts additional programmes on possibility whether the mosquito has transferred diseases to animals, Food and Veterinary Agency Director Zoran Atanasov and epidemiologist from the Institute of Public Health Dr. Zarko Karadzovski told Wednesday’s press conference.
“In accordance to the results we have received, there is no confirmation of existence of such diseases and there is no such danger,” Atanasov said.
According to the Agency’s data, he said that this type of mosquito was detected for the first time in 2016 only in the region of Bogdanci and this year it has spread in Dojran and several municipalities in Skopje.
Karadzovski said thus far no cases of infection or diseases of this type of mosquito have been registered in Macedonia.
He noted that the situation in the region, such as …

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