Showing posts from February, 2017

Second Day of Protests: Citizens Took to Streets in Even Greater Number

In an even greater number, the citizens, unhappy with the plans for destroying Macedonia and introducing bilingualism on its entire territory, marched through the cities in the country. The most massive protests are held in Skopje where tens of thousands of citizens gathered outside the government building. Unlike Monday's protest, the crowd has sound system attached to a car, through which the organizers of the protest address the crowd.
"Zoran Zaev, Zoran Verusevski, Zoran Vraniskovski, betrayers of Macedonia", say the transparents of the citizens attending the protest, where many flags with the Sun of Vergina are waved. Cheering songs for encouragement the Macedonian sports teams can be also heard.
"We should protect what was gained the hard way, for our children", Elena Misirkova said, the niece of Krste Petkov-Misirkov which addressed the crowd.
The rallies, which were organized by the civil initiative "For Joint Macedonia" on Tuesday despite in…

Dissatisfied with Baily's Answer: Congressmen Demand Investigation against US Embassy

Seven US members of the House of Representatives, who recently called out Ambassador to Macedonia Jess Baily and the local USAID mission for partisanship and for funding the George Soros led groups in Macedonia, say they are dissatisfied with the response they received and are launching an investigation. A letter addressed to Comptroller General Gene Dodaro on February 24 instructs the Government Accountability Office to initiate an investigation in the Mission in Macedonia and USAID Macedonia and deliver a progress report in a month.

"Unfortunately, we have heard credible reports that, over the past two years, the US Mission to Macedonia has actively intervened in the party politics of Macedonia, as well as in the shaping of its media environment and civil society, in an improperly partisan manner, one that, directly or indirectly, has influenced the outcome of elections in Macedonia. According to reports, this intervention consistently favors the parties, media and civil socie…

Thousands Protest Wider Use of Albanian Language in Macedonia

Several thousand people protested in Skopje against an agreement that would ensure the wider use of the Albanian language in the ethnically divided state.

Last Thursday, the leader of the Social Democrats, Zoran Zaev, said he expected to be able to form a government in March after he had secured support from ethnic Albanian parties in the 120-seat parliament.
Those parties had made their support for any potential coalition conditional on the passage of a law backing broader use of their language in Macedonia.
But on Monday, a movement that called itself "For Joint Macedonia" called on social media for people to come out on the street and protest the deal Zaev had made with the Albanian parties.
Protesters marched from the government building to the state parliament in Skopje shouting "This will not pass" and sang Macedonian national songs.
"With one symbolic gesture we want to show how you should love Macedonia," said Bogdan Ilievski, a member of the mov…

Wizz Air Announces Massive Expansion in Skopje

Low-cost airline Wizz Air announced today its massive expansion in Skopje for 2017.

A fourth aircraft will join Wizz Air’s Skopje-based fleet in July and, at the same time, three new exciting routes will start operating to Malta, Rome Ciampino in Italy and Vaxjo in Sweden.
Wizz Air is today also celebrating an important milestone in Macedonia, reaching 3 million passengers carried on its routes to and from Macedonia. Over the past six years, since the airline launched its first flight from Skopje to London in June 2011, three million passengers have flown with Wizz Air.
The fourth aircraft joining the Skopje fleet represents a further investment of further € 99 million in Macedonia, creating 36 additional direct jobs and taking the total to over 150 direct jobs in Skopje. Demonstrating its dedication to the Macedonian market, the airline has continuously invested in its ever-growing network, offering now 29 routes to 13 countries from its two Macedonian airports: Skopje and Ohrid, in…

Macedonia's First Licensed Cannabis Cultivation Facility Deploys Heliospectra LED Lighting Solutions

Heliospectra AB (publ) (OTCQB: HLSPY, FIRSTNORTH: HELIO), a world leader in intelligent lighting technology for controlled plant growth environments, announced that Mak North America has standardized on Heliospectra LED lighting solutions to open the first licensed medicinal cannabis cultivation facility in the Republic of Macedonia. The initial order value is $143,034 (1.27 million SEK).

"Mak North was intrigued by Heliospectra's LED technology because of the energy savings and heat dissipation that the company's lighting solutions provide for indoor grow environments," said Kris Swaffer, CEO of Mak North America. "Heliospectra's expertise and customized lighting strategies for cannabis enable us to consistently provide the highest quality product to the medical community and patients here in Macedonia and abroad." As more countries across Europe consider legalization of medicinal cannabis, Mak North is well positioned for a robust export market to me…

Natasha Malinkova in provocative edition

With a provocative photo shoot, the famous singer Natasha Malinkova announces her latest song titled "Hey Mama". It is another piece of music made by the team with whom Malinkova works for many years. . That this photoshoot is an occasion for the new song and thanks to established fashion designers, Viktorija Arsovska and Andrej Papaz Gjorgievski, Natasha this time will pleasantly surprise you. You will see Natasha in a different light for the first time.
- The track is ready for a long time, but waited to solve the problem by banning the broadcast of Macedonian music. It is a song that I'm sure many will like. Something new, fast and different from everything I've ever worked - Malinkova.
The new song has already started preparations for the video.
More Pics from Natasha on Girls from Macedonia Blog

Lazarov signs with Nantes

Macedonian handball legend signed with French side Nantes for 15,000 euros/month salary after wrapping up his multi year contract with HC Barcelona.
The French side is thrilled with getting the Macedonian ace who admitted money wasn't the most important thing for Lazarov, but winning tropheys is, reported L'Equipe.
Lazarov is very happy with Nantes' atmosphere. "I heard Nantes has the best fans in France, and this is something that's very attractive to me, we are going for a win against any team, no matter of the the name of the club" says Lazarov for L'Equipe.

Thirteen Years without President Boris Trajkovski

Today, Macedonia marks 13 years from the death of the former Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski, who died in a plane crash at Rotimlje, near Mostar.
In Skopje, in the Alley of the Greats at the Butel Cemetery, flowers will be laid at Trajkovski’s grave by members of his family, several delegations, and citizens.
The anniversary of President Trajkovski’s death will also be marked in front of the plateau of “Boris Trajkovski” Sport Centre in Skopje.
The president of Republic of Macedonia, Boris Trajkovski, died in a plain crash on 26 February 2004, together with 8 members of the Macedonian delegation, travelling to an International conference to Mostar.
Since then, two investigations have been conducted, and two reports have been made on the accident that happened in the area of Matik Brdo, at Huskoviki village, near Mostar, to determine whether it was a plain crash or “terrorism”. There have been two commissions, managed by Salko Begik, and Omer Kulik, and both involved Macedonian …

Gjorgi Rizov’s art exhibition opens in Netherlands

Exhibition of Macedonian painter Gjorgi Rizov featuring twelve oil paintings on canvas, was opened late Thursday in P60 cultural centre in Amstelveen, Netherlands.
Macedonian Ambassador to Netherlands Igor Popov opened the exhibition who said that Rizov draws his inspiration from everyday events, people and surrounding seen from different perspective.
Through his paintings Rizov directly and unscrupulously sets the asymmetry and chaos as a cultural phenomenon of observation. It is obvious not only in the composition of the painting but in his creating of unstandardised forms of frames or using three dimensional elements to create the painting within painting effect. All of that symbolizes his strive to escape conventionality, the cruel reality, everyday stereotypes and it is a form of resistance against traditional forms of creating art. Rizov in his art creates new worlds in which the truth is different.
Through the highly expressed colours, which always correspond to the theme set …

Kmetovska says goodbye to Pullman

Forward Ivana Kmetovska is the lone senior on the WSU women’s basketball team that has faced adversity all season.

The six-foot-three-inch senior has endured this adversity in all of her four years in Pullman. Between playing on postseason teams with players, such as WNBA guard Lia Galdeira and fellow professional Tia Presley, during her first two seasons and being an unspoken leader on this year’s injury-riddled team, Kmetovska has faced just about every possible set of circumstances a collegiate basketball player can experience.
Through it all, Kmetovska vowed to stay focused and take it one day at a time to see the bigger picture.
“You always need to find a way to push through and become better,” she said. “Once you give up, it becomes a habit.”
Kmetovska grew up in Macedonia, a small country bordering Greece and Serbia. The Cougars team also has a player from each of those two countries on its roster, as junior guard Pinelopi Pavlopoulou is an Athens native, and freshman forward …

Lisbon, Malmö and Skopje announced as sustainable mobility city finalists

Cities from Portugal, Sweden and Macedonia have made it through to become finalists for the European Mobility Award 2016.

Lisbon, Malmö and Skopje were chosen from a longlist of  63 applications from some 23 countries.
The award – which will be presented Transport Commissioner Violeta Bulc on 20 March – is specifically intended to reward cities and local authorities that have involved the public in their schemes, and engaged stakeholders with strong communication.
The three finalists have different strengths. Lisbon won through to the final three due to its focus on making public spaces available and safe for pedestrians.
Skopje’s innovative car-pooling service has helped residents save money while helping the environment, and Malmö for building on its traditionally strong cycling infrastructure.
A total of 2,427 towns and cities from across the EU either attended the European Mobility Week back in September in Brussels, or  organised events along its theme of ‘Smart and Sustainable …

Schalke fans welcomes Greek team with Macedonian Flags

Schalke 04 fans welcomed PAOK in Gelsenkirchen as part of their UEFA competition leg. The match ended 1-1, however Schalke 04 is moving to the next round due to their comfortable away win 0-3 in Solun.
If Macedonian flags were not allowed by police at PAOK's home match, there were plenty in Gelsenkirchen which irked PAOK's management.
Schalke 04 and FC Vardar are on friendly terms, but the fans of both sides have formed a brotherhood of sorts, so each time Shaclke 04 plays a Greek team, their stadium is pratically flooded with Macedonian flags.
Komiti fans are known to travel to Gelsenkirchen to watch Schalke 04, and German fans are known to return the favor in Skopje. 

Trott, Boyle, Stivers Renew Macedonia Caucus for 115th Congress

Today, U.S. Representatives Dave Trott (MI-11), Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), and Steve Stivers (OH-15) issued the following statement after renewing the Congressional Caucus on Macedonia and Macedonian-Americans for the 115th Congress:
"Macedonia has been a critical partner in advancing U.S. national security efforts around the world. Furthermore, the Macedonian diaspora in the United States has been a critical part of our community and has contributed to the diversity and advancement of our entire nation. We are proud to renew the Macedonia Caucus for the 115th Congress aimed at highlighting issues that affect the Macedonian-American community and educating our colleagues on the important role Macedonia and the Macedonian diaspora play in forwarding American interests."
U.S. Representatives Dave Trott (MI-11), Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13), and Steve Stivers (OH-15) will serve as co-chairs of the caucus.

Dnevnik: Platform is meant to save Albanians from Census

If the platform of the Albanian parties and the conditions set out therein are accepted by the SDSM, then even if a census is conducted which shows the Albanians to be well below the 20%, it wouldn't matter, because they've already achieved their goal, making the language official even if they are 1% of the population, reports Dnevnik.
This in effect means that the Albanian platform is a kind of prevention because if the census showed their true numbers in Macedonia hover around 16 percent, thus defacto means that the Ohrid Framework Agreement is no longer valid. In such a case, the Albanian political party will be in a defensive mode and will seek guarantees from the Macedonians that they would not lose the rights they gained under the Ohrid Framework Agreement. They would also lose the leverage to blackmail the Macedonia, something they currently have. 
"The Census and the language issue are the sole and only reasons why the negotiations between VMRO-DPMNE and DUI fell…

More than 100 Cultural Events to Take Place in Berovo

Over 100 events will be organized in Berovo starting from mid-March as part of the eastern Macedonian town being named the 2017 City of Culture.
The Macedonian Ministry of Culture has singled out 2 million denars to fund the manifestation, which offers plays, concerts, folklore concerts, exhibits, book promotions, performances given by theater companies and ensembles from Macedonia and abroad, concerts by soloists of the opera houses in Skopje and Sofia, etc.
The cultural offer of the event is expected to contribute to boosting the number of tourists visiting Berovo, according to Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska.
"Berovo is a town with deep traditional roots that is dedicated to nourishing tradition, customs and old craftsmanship. Berovo was named the City of Culture in 2017 because it deserves the title. Tourism here is active throughout the year. I hope by naming Berovo the City of Culture, we will contribute to improving local cultural development," stated Ka…

Congressman Robert Aderholt: There is concern on how money was spend - we will decide for inspection at the US Embassy in Macedonia

Six congressmen send letter to the US ambassador in Macedonia, Jess Bailey expressing concerns and asking questions related to the work of the embassy, and the concerns that the embassy is involved in funding George Soros projects in Macedonia.
There is no answer from the US embassy in Macedonia till now, yet congressmen Robert Aderholt says that they are still waiting for ambassador Jess Bailey answer.
-I signed the letter with six others of my colleagues. We have heard some concerns that have voiced to us. We have visited Macedonia, and worked with different leaders in the country. There were some concerns on what our money have been spend. We have not received a respond, but if the ambassador is working on something I trust he will get to us in a time when he gets the information. Congressmen Smith has been working on lot of these issues around the world, but now he is chairman of the Helsinki commission from the US delegation and he has been very active, says Aderholt.

Lazarov very hopeful for the future of Macedonian handball

Macedonia’s top handball player Kiril Lazarov says he is very hopeful about the future of the sport, with a national team rejuvenated by young players. Lazarov spoke with the Balka-handball site, after the team competed in the World Championship in France where Macedonia reached the knock-out phase.

“I’m not the type of a person to be satisfied with little things. I can often go overboard and lose my sense of reality. But, a month after the World Championship, I can say that we left an excellent impression and can now begin the new Olympic cycle. Macedonia began to rejuvenate its team, with the help of the more experienced players. Our coach knows what he’s doing and what he wants. He has enormous experience in his career and we all know that we need to be calm and patient. Results will come, and we will have our future secured for the next 10 years”, the national team captain said.
Lazarov is set to leave Barcelona for Nantes, signing a two year contract with the French team. “I had…

US Office of Inspector General joins Investigation on Jess Baily and US Embassy

Multiple investigations have been launched to review the work of the US Embassy in Macedonia, and new ones seem to be added almost on weekly basis.
Apart from the ongoing investigations, another two were added, one from the Office of the Inspector General, according to GOP Congressman Trent Franks.
"This is the next step, we have already held preliminary discussions with the OIG as well as the Accounting division to investigate what happened to the funds that were sent to assist in the promotion of human rights, and we have numerous indications the money ended up with organizations connected to George Soros which is completely the opposite of what the money were intended for and this needs to be investigated" says Franks in an interview with Macedonian TV (MTV).
 The OIG Office has a specific division for investigating how USAid money are spent.
 This is certainly not good news for Jess Baily, the US Ambassador could end up in jail considering majority of the USAid funds en…

Skopje Institute for Respiratory Diseases gets new equipment

The Institute for Respiratory Diseases in Skopje, after having a new equipment procured, is introducing a new method for interventional bronchoscopy with a type of cryotherapy, with which people suffering from malignant diseases will be treated.

"This method has never been applied before in Macedonia," Deputy PM and Minister of Health Nikola Todorov said Monday after a visit to the Institute.
By introducing the method and procuring the instrument, he added, patients with malignant respiratory diseases in an advanced stage will get a better treatment and improve their quality of life.
A doctor and nurses of the Institute for Respiratory Diseases have been sent to Slovenia to be trained to perform the method in Macedonia, according to the Minister.
"MKD 1,5 million have been invested to procure the equipment and train the staff in a bid to introduce something new in Macedonia. Such an intervention has never been performed before," Todorov told reporters adding the i…

Congressman Trent Franks calls on Soros in Macedonia


Karposh Sokoli Wins Macedonian Basketball Cup for first time

Karposh Sokoli from Skopje has won the Macedonia Basketball Cup. The team beat Feni Industry after managing to break the resistance of the Kavadarci team.
Following the first 30 minutes of battle, Karposh Sokoli managed to triumph over Feni with 80:69, thus winning their first trophy.
The half-time result was 42:37, but things started changing, when Stajic scored three-point field shot, so Feni Industry came to 52:55. But the last 10 minutes were obvious that Feni lost their strength, so the Skopje-based team increased the difference of 11 shots and triumphed the match.
With this, Karposh Sokoli marked their first Cup victory, and the first title ever for the club.

Skopje hospital undergoing reconstruction - opened only for urgent cases

The "St. Naum of Ohrid" hospital in Skopje, also known as the Skopje City Hospital, is undergoing thorough reconstruction, and will be closed to all but the most urgent patients.
“Non-emergency patients are forwarded to the Clinic Center and the 8th of September General City Hospital”, the hospital informed. Reconstruction work began in 2016, and now it is moving to the main operating floor.

Snow City 2017 kicks off at Popova Sapka

Traditional children’s event Snow City 2017 will be held on Feb. 20 to 25 at Popova Sapka ski resort, organised by the children’s culture center “Karpos” Skopje.
Primary school students from Skopje, Gevgelija, Vinica and Tetovo are to create snow sculptures.
As of Feb. 25 the centre will also organise “Caravan – Popova Sapka 2017” – one-day trip to the Snow City.

EU Membership Support for Macedonia falls to 77 percent

The trend of declining support for EU membership, noticeable in the past several years, is detected in 2016 as well. But being at 77 percent, EU integration is still considered to enjoy overwhelming support in Macedonia, shows a public opinion poll.
The opinion poll, presented on Friday in Skopje, was conducted by the Institute for Democracy "Societas Civilis" in cooperation with Konrad Adenauer Foundation. According to Ivan Damjanovski of the Institute for Democracy, the public support, which remains high, comes as a result of the citizens' expectations from economic benefits once the country joined the Union.
"The key factor for EU support to start dropping gradually lies in the implications over our identity that stem from the name issue with Greece. It cannot be called an euro­skeptical energy, because if we put the name row aside, then EU support amongst the citizens is close to 90 percent," stated Damjanovski. According to Zoran Necev of the Institute fo…

Fitch Affirms Macedonia at BB, Outlook Negative

Global rating agency Fitch said on Friday it has affirmed Macedonia's long-term foreign and local currency Issuer Default Ratings (IDR) at 'BB', with negative outlooks.
The issue ratings on Macedonia's long-term senior unsecured foreign and local currency bonds have also been affirmed at 'BB', the rating agency said in a statement.

The Country Ceiling has been affirmed at 'BB+' and the short-term foreign and local currency IDRs at 'B'. The senior unsecured short-term local currency issues have also been affirmed at 'B'.
Macedonia's ratings are supported by a track record of credible monetary and macro-prudential policy that has maintained longstanding stability of its exchange rate peg.
Government finances also perform marginally better than the median of 'BB' category peers. However, GDP per capita is below the median of 'BB' category peers, and governance is weak.
The Negative Outlook reflects continued political u…

Macedonian working on Ship Security dies in Indian Ocean

The Macedonian Ministry of Foreign Affairs has confirmed that a Macedonian citizen working for a South Korean company (HGS Korea) has died aboard their ship. Alongside several other Macedonian citizens, he was employed as ship's security, protecting the ship and its cargo from pirates.
The incident occured as the ship apprached the coast of Sri Lanka. The name or the reasons for the death hasn't been released, however it is known that the Macedonian citizen is a former ARM soldier and a resident of Shtip.

US Congressman Rohrabacher apologizes for remarks on Macedonia

The US Congressmen and Chairman of the Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats, Dana Rohrabacher, offered an apology for his recent controversial remarks about Macedonia. He released Friday the following statement concerning widely quoted comments made recently about Macedonia:
'At the end of a recent interview, I made a number of informal statements regarding the Republic of Macedonia. Upon reflection, I see that some of those statements did not accurately convey my intent. This release clarifies my position. Macedonia is a legitimate country with the right of self-determination and sanctity of borders. My comment alluded, perhaps inartfully, to my concern with internal governing challenges that Macedonia faces concerning ethnic minorities.
I am in no way suggesting that anyone except Macedonians determine the sovereign status or borders of their country. If my words were taken to mean anything else, I apologize.
I want to recognize and applaud the positive relation…

Berovo – City of Culture 2017

The Ministry of Culture has selected Berovo as the 2017 City of Culture.

“The programme of Berovo municipality contains concrete, quality and various cultural contents in all fields, characterized by broad genre diversity and stylish traits”, said the ministry.
The programme includes performances by young and renowned artists, tours abroad, productions by bordering towns and institutions, thus securing equal cultural development and stimulating international cultural development of the municipality.
Traditional festivals and events will also be held, along with music concerts of all genres, literary readings and promotions, art exhibits, plays produced by domestic and foreign theatre companies.
“Giving Berovo the title ‘2017 City of Culture’ will contribute to the enhancement of culture in the region, as well as its development and promotion in general”, added the ministry.

Macedonia hosts 2017 Global Women Leaders Summit

Over 40 prominent women leaders will take part as panelists, while over 300 participants from five continents will attend the 2017 Global Women Leader Summit, held in Skopje on February 17-18.

The summit is focused on a range of topics, along with the promotion of the Global Platform of women leaders in the public and private sector.
The promotion is organized by the Macedonian Chambers of Commerce, in cooperation with the Association of Business Women Macedonia and the World Business Organization-Macedonia.
The platform aims at international dialogue for enhancement of women’s leadership and creation of strategic policies for economic development.

Macedonia jumps to 31 in the world in Heritage index of economic freedom

The Heritage Foundation ranked Macedonia 31st in the world in its economic freedom index, putting it in the category of mostly free countries for the first time since rankings began.

In the previous report, Macedonia was ranked 47th, and was still among the "moderately free countries". Macedonia got 70,7 points, which reflect the economic freedom in four chief categories - rule of law, government size, regulatory efficiency and open markets.
The leading US conservative foundation traditionally gives best grades to Macedonia on its tax system, where Macedonia got 91,9 points for its low and uncomplicated taxation regime. Grades in size of government and the debt are also above average, with the Heritage report pointing out that the debt is at 38,6 percent of GDP, while public spending stands at 32,2 percent.
Macedonia received 67 points for its respect of property rights, 52 points for government integrity and 61,4 percent for judicial efficiency. "Notably, Macedonia an…

Growing interest for Macedonian goods recorded in Russia

Macedonia is boosting its export of goods to Russia.
There is growing interest for our products on one of the largest markets in the world, show the latest data on trade volume.
Export of goods in 2016 stood at €48,9 million - an increase of 39.5% compared to 2015 with trade deficit being cut down from €153 million to €142,9 million, it was announced at a news conference Wednesday at the Macedonian-Russian Chamber of Commerce.
Total trade volume in 2017 was estimated at €191 million, i.e. an increase of 15% compared with 2015, when it was registered at €189 million.
It is expected export rate to exceed the one recorded in 2016.
Macedonian wine, fruit and vegetables are the most frequently exported goods for the market in Russia with goods of the pharmaceutical and mechanical engineering industry coming in second, Dejan Beshliev, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce, told the press conference.
He said a contract had been signed to export dairy products.
Beshliev also presente…

PhD Thesis on the “Name Issue” between Greece and Macedonia

Last September Vera Lalchevska defended her PhD thesis in Development Studies, entitled “The Importance of Being Macedonian:  Origins and Consequences of the ‘Name Issue’ between Greece and Macedonia” at the Graduate Institute. Professor Mohammad-Mahmoud Ould Mohamedou presided the committee, which included Professor Isabelle Schulte-Tenckhoff, Thesis Director, and Professor Todor Cepreganov, from the University of Goce Delcev, Republic of Macedonia. Her dissertation explores what the “name issue” means to Macedonians and argues that, far from being a mere technical dispute about the label of a country, it revolves around one of the most basic and essential human rights: the right of the Macedonian people to their ethnic and national identity, and to their language. Ms Lalchevska outlines below the background to her research as well as her methodology, findings and conclusions.

Can you remind us what the “name issue” between Greece and Macedonia is?
I’ll start with a revealing anecdot…


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 Government to ban protests with new law on public gatherings

Greek jets mount NATO practice flights over Macedonia