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Showing posts from May, 2018

Most citizens would vote against Ilindenska Macedonia

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The majority of citizens – 61.5% – would vote “no” on a referendum on the name “Republic of Ilindenska Macedonia”, showed a poll conducted by M-prospect in cooperation with MCIC
The majority of ethnic Macedonians, ie 70.5%, would vote with a “no”. The vast majority of VMRO-DPMNE sympathizers would also not support this proposal, ie with a “no” vote they make up 92.7% of the vote. Ethnic Albanians in 52.8% of cases answered that the Republic of Ilindenska Macedonia is an acceptable solution for them. For supporters of SDSM this proposal is acceptable in 56.4% of cases, while for DUI supporters, 62.5%.
Compared with the results of the field survey conducted in April 2018, for the citizens, the addition of Ilindenska is less acceptable than the addition of Gorna – 41.5% would accept a change with the name Gorna, compared with 27.2% who would accept Ilindenska.
Just over a third of respondents, or 38.9%, would vote in a referendum on the Republic of Ilinden Macedonia when the country bec…

Macedonian President Ivanov does not accept erga omnes

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For President Gjorge Ivanov the erga omnes name is not an acceptable solution, stated the Office of the President of the Republic of Macedonia today.
“President Ivanov’s position is principled, and at the same time is consistent with the views of all previous Presidents of the Republic of Macedonia. President Ivanov’s does not accept a solution to the name issue for overall use or erga omnes”, read the statement from Ivanov’s office.
At the same time, they inform that the head of state will receive Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov tomorrow for all the details discussed in New York and Brussels.

Zaev: We are no longer negotiating on the name “Republic of Ilindenska Macedonia”

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The proposal, the Republic of Ilindenska Macedonia, was rejected by both the Greek side and the Macedonian opposition, and therefore negotiations could not be continue regarding that name, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, responding to a parliamentary question at parliament put forward by VMRO-DPMNE concerning the name proposal.
We are close to finding a possible solution to the name dispute with Greece. We need to be careful not to hurt the process. I said yesterday some details about the process. Prime Minister Tsipras and I agreed on the “Republic of Ilinden Macedonia”. We concluded that we need to take this proposal back to our countries to see if it’s acceptable. It was not recieved well in Greece. Since the opposition rejected the proposal, we will not discuss Ilinden Macedonia anymore. The referendum is important, and the citizens need to have a say in it. It is sensitive situation, but the solution must be found”, said Zaev.
Zaev did not answer additional question on whether …

Macedonian police stopped 43 illegal migrants

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Macedonia police stopped 43 illegal migrants on Tuesday evening hidden in a bakery van travelling on Kumanovo-Tabanovce highway, the police informed on Wednesday.
According to the police, among the 43 illegal migrants, 8 of them are underage. 14 migrants are from Pakistan, 16 from Iraq and 13 from Afghanistan.
The migrants were sent to Tabanovce transit center, whereas the driver is under home arrest for 30 days.
On mid-May, Defense and Security Committee in Macedonian Parliament decided to extend the state of emergency along the southern and northern border until Dec. 31 to prevent a possible influx of migrants.

Zaev: No name agreement yet, principles defined

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There is still no agreement over the name, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Wednesday.
"There is no agreement yet. As stated by foreign ministers Dimitrov and Kotzias, the principles of the agreement have been defined and now comes the legal-formal aspect of the agreement. I believe a conversation between myself and PM Tsipras will take place these days - this evening, tomorrow or Friday. I expect a significant step forward and we will inform the public accordingly," PM Zaev told reporters following a press conference observing one year since the government's formation.
Regarding the steps for the agreement's implementation, he said there is nothing secretive and these aspects were discussed at the recent leaders' meeting.
"Besides the formal aspect of the possible agreement, there should also be discussions over the timeline for its implementation. Macedonia favors a referendum and Greece understands this. It is logical to set up the steps for implementat…

FM Dimitrov meets a delegation of Konrad Adenauer Foundation

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Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and a delegation of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation held talks Wednesday in Skopje on the integration of Western Balkan countries, including Macedonia, with the EU Common Foreign and Security Policy (CFSP).
Dimitrov labeled the Western Balkans’ integration with and contribution to the EU's CFSP as vital for joint fight against present security threats, as well as for supporting the EU’s foreign policy.
He also briefed the guests about Macedonia’s activities to that effect, notifying that the country is a signatory of EU declarations on various international issues, as well as active participant in the EU-led missions within its Common Security and Defense Policy (CSDP), the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.
‘We don’t adhere to the EU declarations and attitudes only because we have European aspirations. We do that because we believe in European values, in multilateralism, international legal order and the achievements of the civil…

Estonian journalists to promote Macedonia’s tourist destinations

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A team of Estonian national TV Tallinn has arrived to Macedonia Wednesday to make travel documentaries about several attractive locations in the country, such as the capital Skopje, its Old Bazaar and Fortress (Kale), Matka canyon, Saint Jovan Bigorski Monastery etc.
The future TV shows are aimed to promote Macedonia’s tourist attractions on the Estonian market. TV Tallinn is the first Estonian media that will promote Macedonia as an attractive tourist destination, depicting via its camera the country’s culture, history, traditions, cuisine and hospitality, the Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism said in a press release.
The Agency also notifies that the first flight on June 1 of Estonian carrier ‘Nordica’ from Tallin to Ohrid will bring yet another group of Estonian journalists, who will have an opportunity to get familiar with the best holiday destination in Macedonia and promote it at home.

Zaev: First we will change the name in Parliament, then hold a referendum

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There is still no agreement over the name, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said on Wednesday.
There is no agreement yet. As stated by foreign ministers Dimitrov and Kotzias, the principles of the agreement have been defined and now comes the legal-formal aspect of the agreement. I believe a conversation between myself and PM Tsipras will take place these days – this evening, tomorrow or Friday. I expect a significant step forward and we will inform the public accordingly,” PM Zaev told reporters following a press conference observing one year since the government’s formation.
Regarding the steps for the agreement’s implementation, he said there is nothing secretive and these aspects were discussed at the recent leaders’ meeting.
Besides the formal aspect of the possible agreement, there should also be discussions over the timeline for its implementation. Macedonia favors a referendum and Greece understands this. It is logical to set up the steps for implementation of a possible agreement

Sekerinska: Macedonia and EU should not miss out on this chance

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Macedonia and the EU should ot miss out on this chance, said Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska at the annual meeting of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR) in Paris on Tuesday.
"Macedonia cannot miss out on this chance, but I hope that the EU will not miss out on it too. The status-quo is never an option for the Western Balkans. Either we go forward or going round in circles with the same problems," said Sekerinska.
She referred to the developments in Macedonia and the region in a panel titled "Western Balkans: The EU and Great Power Competition".
"Macedonia and the region need France. Now is the time to act fast because if we miss out on this opportunity, another decade will be lost, not only for the region, but also for Europe," added Sekerinska.
Regarding the name row, she said the countries' foreign ministers have reached a certain framework for a compromise and the Government is committed to solving the problem.
"We believe …

Strike closes Greek border crossings on Wednesday

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Border crossings leading to Greece (Medzitlija, Star Dojran and Bogorodica) will be closed on Wednesday due to a 24-hour strike of Greek customs officers.
Traffic of passenger vehicles, lorries and buses will be interrupted, says the Ministry of Interior after receiving a notification from the Greek police.
Passenger vehicles will be let through only in case of emergency.
DEUTSCH/GERMAN

Mogherini: Macedonia's New Name Will Have an Effect on Countries in Europe

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"I was informed by the Macedonian and Greek Foreign Ministers about the progress in the name talks, which is very encouraging and promising, but it is not yet finalized, I am optimistic, and even more optimistic when it comes to the Balkans. Step by step, we expressed our clear intention of joining, helping and supporting a possible agreement in the coming days or weeks. The EU expects it in order to join it when it is reached and announced."
This was stated by the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, following the EU ministerial council on the resistance of some Member States to start negotiations with Macedonia.
Mogherini said that it would be very difficult for them to ignore such an important world news.
"This will have a transformative effect not only on the relations between the countries but also on all countries - both in Europe and globally." The name dispute has long existed, creating comp…

Xhaferi: It would be frivolous to think about early parliamentary elections

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It would be frivolous for anyone to think about early parliamentary elections this year, said Parliament Speaker, Talat Xhaferi during a regular press briefing.
“There can be elections when MPs disband. However, in a serious country with serious issues, it would be frivolous for anyone to even consider early parliamentary elections. If someone is thinking about it, he would want to profit politically, rather than considering state interests”, said Xhaferi.
As for when the Law on the Use of Languages comes into force, Xhaferi says that it is not his personal responsibility and is the task of the ruling coalition.
“I signed off on the Law at the time it was passed. I did my part. I will send it to the Official Gazette when the time is right, so one problem does not become multiple problems. The ruling coalition needs to find a formal way for the Law to take effect”, believes Xhaferi.
According to him, the actual situation is that the president is violating the Constitution. However, if…

Mogherini: We are very encouraged by the progress between Skopje and Athens

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High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy Federica Mogherini, this morning, after breakfast with Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, issued a statement supporting the process of finding a solution to the name dispute.
We are all very encouraged by the progress made between Skopje and Athens for the name, we will all work to support a positive outcome”, stated Mogherini.
Earlier, Dimitrov said that he and his Greek counterpart Nikos Kotzias negotiated until late last night and reached a framework for a compromise on the name dispute.

Dimitrov: We have reached a framework for compromise over the name, but we have to work on it

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Nikos Kotzias and Nikola Dimitrov negotiated and reached a compromise on the name dispute late night.
“We had a productive meeting, we have a framework that needs to be worked out and currently the legal teams of the two ministries in Athens are working on it. Now, we are planning an important conversation between prime ministers Zaev with Tsipras in the middle of this week, where we hope to cut down some important things from the options that are at play”, Dimitrov told MIA.
The Macedonian Foreign Minister had an informal breakfast this morning with EU foreign ministers and deputies. France and the Netherlands were the strongest in terms of the start of negotiations, as was expected.
“It is nice to know that this is not that simple … Internal consolidation in the EU is complementary and not contrary to the consolidation of the Balkans, and if this historic breakthrough occurs, it will be a chance for all of Europe to be successful. We are not in a situation to demand luxury or to mi…

Protests over "Greek character of Macedonia" to be staged across Greece

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Organizers of protests over "the Greek character of Macedonia" have scheduled fresh gatherings across Greece on June 6, MIA reports from Athens.
The announcements for the protests come after the latest developments in the name talks.
Following protests in Athens and Thessaloniki, the organizers have now reached local authorities in other cities.
"Through these protests, the Committee fighting for the Greek character of Macedonia will attempt to remind politicians in the country that the Greek people have taken a decision of the name Macedonia and urges for enforcement of these decisions. The Committee would like to make it clear to the Greek government that a name including term 'Macedonia' is not acceptable," reads the press release by the organizers.

Hahn: Name solution a 'game changer' in Macedonia's EU accession process

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Commissioner for European Neighbourhood Policy and Enlargement Negotiations Johannes Hahn says the EU is encouraged by the latest round of name talks between Skopje and Athens.
Hahn, who attended Monday an informal breakfast organized by Bulgaria and Austria alongside Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and his European counterparts, tweeted that the meeting was fruitful and everyone expressed wholehearted support to the negotiations.
"Consensus in the room that a solution to the name issue will be a game changer for the next steps in the EU accession process of Macedonia," says Commissioner Hahn.
Diplomatic sources told MIA that FM Dimitrov opened the meeting by saying that a framework for a solution to the name has been reached with Greece, while experts are currently working on the text in Athens. He also briefed ministers over the course of reforms required by the EU, saying "this is a historic time for my country."
"When we launched the proc…

Romanian opera diva Elena Mosuc to open 58. Ohrid Summer Festival

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More than 800 artists from 27 countries will take part at this year's 58. edition of the Ohrid Summer Festival, traditionally held between July 12 and August 20.
Romanian opera diva Elena Mosuc (soprano) will open this year's festival, accompanied by tenor Calin Bratescu and the Macedonian Philharmonic Orchestra, under the baton of Nicolae Moldoveanu.
Mosuc is presently considered one of the best sopranos in the world, seen as diverse and expressive.
Culture Minister Robert Alagjozovski told Monday's press conference that the festival's artistic programme was created in compliance with the festival's image as one of the pillars of Macedonia's international reputation in the fields of culture and art.
"We were guided by the concept of offering a programme based on exquisite classical music and aesthetic theatre, interwoven in the wonderful ambiance of the festival stages," added Alagjozovski.
Music programme selector Vaso Ristov said Ohrid will again …

Fed-up fans demand their Bulgarian team move to Macedonia

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Football fans in Bulgaria are so fed-up with their team's fortunes they have asked if the club can play in neighbouring Macedonia.
Supporters of Pirin Blagoevgrad — famous for developing talent such as ex-Manchester United striker Dimitar Berbatov — were relegated from Bulgaria’s top flight on Monday after a hotly-disputed goal condemned them to a 2-1 home defeat.
Vitosha Bistritsa's Grigor Dolapchiev was flagged offside by the linesman but the referee waved play on and the striker took advantage to score his side's second goal.
"Dear leaders of Macedonian football, we the supporters of Pirin Blagoevgrad, urge you to accept Pirin in the Macedonian football championship as of next season,” supporters wrote in a request to the Macedonian Football Federation, adding they would accept a place in any division.
Pirin and the club's followers have complained of unfair treatment by the Bulgarian Football Union (BFU) and referees on several occasions during the season.
&q…

Macedonian sound engineer unlocks iPhoneX speakers to full potential

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With the exception of “Reflection” on the iPhone X, Apple hasn’t updated their catalog of ringtones and alarms since iOS 7 dropped back in 2013. Since then, the company has come a long way with the quality of the iPhone’s speakers, but their tones haven’t adapted to meet those changes. That’s left an opening for others to create their own ringtones mastered for the iPhone.
You might not think about how iOS’ ringtones and alarms take advantage of your iPhone’s specialized speakers, but sound engineer Ilija Cvetkovski does. Cvetkovski, who goes by ILIJAC online, was disappointed with the way Apple’s stock tones sounded on his iPhone X, so instead of complaining about it on the internet, Cvetkovski designed a suite of new ringtones and alarms to match the iPhone’s speakers’ specifications.
In a Reddit post on Monday, May 21, Cvetkovski described how he came to design ringtones and alarms for the iPhone X’s speakers, which he said also works on iPhone 8 Plus:
What I did was I tested the …

Ivanov was scared into submission with US Army intervention during coup

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MINA’s sources close to Ivanov have told us that the Macedonian president considered calling in the army during the coup on April 27th when MPs from a wild (albanian) tribe sang their national anthem in Parliament, followed by SDS traitors who raised both of their hands to count and vote themselves in power while in the hallways of Parliament.
Ivanov considered bringing in the army and jailing all the terrorists from DUI and the SDS, however Macedonian taitors on US Embassy payroll and advisors to the president bluffed Ivanov into submission, lying to him that the US Army from Kosovo (Bondsteel) was ‘ready’ and prepared to attack Macedonia if Ivanov prevented the coup!
Horhe Ivanov fell for this incredibly bizarre and idiotic bluff. Astonishingly, the president actually believed the US would attack a sovereign European country, risk losing hundreds of soldiers and a PR nightmare for Trump over a Murtino pyscho named Zaev!?
MPs from the DPNE were bought not to act in Parliament (remem…

Macedonia to take part in Venice Biennale of Architecture

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Macedonia will present the multi-author architecture project Freeingspace at the 16th International Architecture Exhibition organized by La Biennale di Venezia 2018, which begins on May 26 and runs through November.
The authors of the Freeingspace project are: Dejan Ivanovski, Filip Jovanovski, Blagoja Bajkovski, Marina Tornatora, Lucia La Giusa, Alessandro De Luca, Vlado Danailov, Mila Dimitrovska, Gordan Vitevski, Aleksandra Šulevska, Slobodan Velevski, and Marija Mano Velevska.
The curators of Macedonia's presentation in Venice Marija Mano Velevska and Slobodan Velevski introduced the project and the idea behind it, which is to do a contemporary reading of urban space, i.e., to highlight the value of public space.
The project focuses on four locations that are part of Skopje's architectural and collective memory, according to Velevski, and which were thoroughly changed by Skopje 2014. These locations are the Vardar riverbank and the plateau in front of the Macedonian Opera…

Nimetz: No final solution yet, both parties determined to work until reaching an agreement

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There is no a final solution yet to Macedonia-Greece name dispute, but both parties are committed to continue the negotiations until they come to an agreement, UN mediator Matthew Nimetz  said Friday in New York after two-day talks with the Foreign Ministers, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias.
We had meetings yesterday and today, one and a half days of talks. What I can say is that the issues are well defined. We do not have a final solution to the issues, but both sides are determined to do enough to reach an agreement and work hard to achieve it,’ Nimetz told reporters.
The talks between the two ministers will continue in Brussels, the UN mediator said.
The talks have intensified considerably and both sides have important positions as national interests are at stake. However both sides recognize the importance of reaching an agreement and are determined to get there,’ Nimetz said.

Macedonians' roots are Slavic and Albanian, says Greek PM

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Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras says the negotiations about the name of Macedonia that are held in New York are "critical" and "sensitive."
According to him, it would be a "great victory" for Greece if a qualifier were to be added in front of the name "Macedonia."
"We are defending the national position," Tsipras said after a meeting with Mayor of Thessaloniki Yiannis Boutaris, to whom he expressed his support. 
Boutaris was last weekend "attacked and injured by extreme right-wingers and chauvinists because of of his liberal views," Beta agency said. 
Tsipras referred to the critics of the negotiations with Macedonia as "fools," and stressed, "We are not giving anything away, but are trying to take something back that others surrendered over 70 years ago." 
“For over 70 years, our northern neighbors have had a state entity both within the framework of the former Yugoslav federation and as an autonomou…

U21: Azerbaijan – Macedonia 1:1

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The new generation of U21 (for players born after 1998) kicked off with a 1:1 away draw in their first friendly match, against Azerbaijan.

In the first of the two encounters against Azerbaijan, Macedonia played a draw in a game where each side dominated one halftime. This was the first test for the players from the new generation, born as of 1998, that will compete in the next qualifications. The team was lead by the temporary coaches Zvonko Zlatanovski and Dobrinko Ilievski who were chosen to replace Blagoja Milevski for these two games, since Milevski is leaving his position as U21 coach by the end of the month.
Macedonia started the game with the typical 4-2-3-1 formation, with Davor Zdravkovski as new captain and leader of the new generation. However, the game didn’t start well for the Macedonian team as Azerbaijan took the lead after only 5 minutes of playtime, through a goal by Əliyev. Azerbaijan carried on to control the game throughout the entire first half, leaving Macedonia…

Zaev and Dimitrov insist on "Ilinden Macedonia"

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No constitutional change will be needed for a solution with Greece on the name of the Republic of Macedonia, the country's Prime Minister Zoran Zaev reportedly said on Monday, and expressed support for the name "Republic of Ilinden Macedonia".
Speaking to journalists, Zaev said the name does not jeopardize the identity of Macedonia, and at the same time provides Greece with a compound name with a time qualifier.
"I do not think there is a political party, an intellectual, a normal citizen who is insulted by this proposal. I believe we should continue," he was quoted as saying by Meta.mk news agency.
"First, let’s look at this solution to the end and I appeal to everyone in Greece to consider it, because it’s worth it," he added.
In the same spirit, Macedonia's Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov said the specific name proposal is "adequate" for both countries to agree on.
We are ready to defend this, and to persuade our people to stand be…

Alliance for Albanians: “Ilindenska” is a blow to secularism and ‘slavisizes” the state

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At yesterday’s session of the Central Presidency, regarding the most recent proposal, the “Republic of Ilindenska Macedonia” in resolving the name dispute with Greece, the Alliance of Albanians called it a drift towards ‘slavisize’ the name of the country and is a heavy blow to secularism.
The integration of Macedonia into the EU and NATO is an uncompromising strategic and political commitment of the Alliance of Albanians. They restated their viewpoint that they are against any tendency to ‘slavisize’ the country’s name in any form. Regarding public opinion concerning the new proposal for name of the country, the Alliance for Albanians concluded that the proposal is a serious blow to the secular character of the country and to the foundations of liberal democracy”, stated the Alliance for Albanians.

TV duel Zaev vs Mickoski today

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Macedonian Television has organized the first TV duel today at 20:00h local time, with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, SDSM leader, and the leader of the main opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, MIA reports.
Last week this TV duel was initiated by the leader of the opposition party, and the thrown glove was accepted by the prime minister. Three TV channels showed interest to organize this television show with the first people in power and the opposition, after so many years.
Stojan Trpchevski, MTV editor of the Information Department, will be hosting the TV duel.

Ivanov: It's our duty to preserve the legacy of Ss. Cyril and Methodius

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The photo exhibit In the footsteps of Ss. Cyril and Methodius by Slovak author Pavol Demes opened at the National and University Library in Skopje on Tuesday.
Organized by the Embassy of the Republic of Slovakia, the exhibition honors the 1155th anniversary of the arrival of Ss. Cyril and Methodius to the territory of Great Moravia and celebrates the 25-year anniversary of the Slovak Republic.
The exhibit, which took Demes three years to complete, features photos of historical monuments that remain from the times of the 9th-century Byzantine brothers revered for creating the Glagolitic alphabet and translating the Bible into Old Church Slavonic.
At the opening, President Gjorgje Ivanov said that Ss. Cyril and Methodius were the reason Macedonian and Slovak are spoken today.
"It's our duty to preserve this heritage, which has shaped our worldview, our uniqueness, and our identity," said President Ivanov.
Demes is an expert in foreign affairs and civil law. He lives in Br…

Skopje court founds Macedonian PM not guilty in bribery case

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A Skopje court ruled on May 21 that Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is not guilty in a bribery case brought against him when he was an opposition leader. 
The charges, from which Zaev was acquitted, are related to taking a bribe of more than €160,000 from a local businessman in 2013 to allow the privatisation of a land plot in Strumica, when he was mayor of the southeast Macedonian town. 
Zaev pleaded not guilty in the case, saying that the charges against him were fabricated when, as the head of the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), he was the country’s main opposition leader, and aimed at preventing his political activities. They coincided with his revelations about crime and corruption among top officials of the former government led by the conservative VMRO-DPMNE party.
“I am happy because I was acquitted from the charges and finally I proved my innocence,” Zaev said after the court released the verdict.
He reiterated that everything he did while he was Strumica m…

Zaev's name proposal criticised at home and in Greece

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The Macedonian government’s proposed new name for the country faces strong opposition at home and in Greece, damaging hopes of ending a 27-year dispute between the neighbours that has paralysed the ex-Yugoslav republic’s bid to join the European Union and Nato.
Athens vows to prevent Macedonia joining either organisation, until it changes a name that it shares with a region of northern Greece and removes parts of its constitution that allegedly imply a territorial claim on the area.
Macedonian prime minister Zoran Zaev and his Greek counterpart Alexis Tsipras met last Thursday to discuss the issue, in the hope of reaching a deal before the EU’s next summit in late June and a gathering of Nato leaders the following month.
Afterwards, Mr Zaev surprised many at home and abroad when he revealed that his favoured proposal was to rename his country “Ilinden Macedonia”.
“Ilinden” refers to St Elijah’s Day – August 2nd – when Macedonians launched an uprising against their Ottoman rulers in 1…

Macedonian climber dies on Everest

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A Macedonian climber died on Sunday (May 20) while making a final push for the summit of Mount Everest, the latest fatality of the current spring climbing season in the Nepali Himalayas.
The 62-year-old collapsed above Camp Three at 7,200m.
"Our team at the base camp confirms his death," Iswari Poudel of Himalayan Guides Nepal, his expedition organiser, told AFP.
Local media reported that the climber died of a cardiac arrest. It was the fourth death of the season.
Last week a solo Russian climber died of altitude problems just below the summit of Lhotse, the world's fourth highest peak that borders Everest.
A sherpa guide is presumed dead after he went missing on his descent from the summit of Everest.
An Italian climber died last month on Mount Dhaulagiri, the world's seventh highest peak.
Around 400 people have so far reached the summit of Everest as the busy spring climbing season - which runs from April to May - gets into full swing.
Nepal is home to eight of th…

Greece rejected "Republic of Ilinden Macedonia"

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Greece has rejected the option of changing the name of Republic of Macedonia to the Republic of Ilinden Macedonia. This was the name that the Prime Ministers of Greece and Macedonia Alexis Tsipras and Zoran Zaev had agreed after a four-way talk at the summit in Sofia on May 17. Two days later, Zaev confirmed that this is the option acceptable to both sides.
Macedonian citizens will also have the word. They will be able to vote in a referendum on the issue”, said Zoran Zaev.
However, following the Macedonian PM’s statement, it became clear that the opposition parties in the Greek Parliament have opposed the idea that Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia should be called the Republic of Ilinden Macedonia. From the Cabinet of Tsipras asked the name to contain a geographical definition.
The statement from the Prime Minister’s office stated that Athens welcomed Skopje’s understanding that “the solution to the name can not exist without the adoption of the erga omnes name, for full use”.

New Europe: Zaev’s “Ilinden Gambit” melts down in Athens and Skopje

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Ignoring opposition parties, Trump Administration ratchets up pressure for a solution

Within 24 hours of the end of bilateral discussions on the sidelines of the EU-Western Balkans Summit in Sofia late last week, a new potential name — the Republic of Ilinden Macedonia — proposed by Macedonia Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in his close private sessions with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, leaked out of Skopje.
By the weekend, the main opposition parties in both countries quickly rejected this new proposal as irredentist or otherwise unacceptable, but it is not yet off the table. Foreign pressure for an agreement before the summer EU and NATO summits appears to be increasing steadily as the action now shifts to the US where a new round of discussions between both countries’ foreign ministers is being called by UN Mediator Matthew Nimetz for May 24-25.
It is unclear what role the United Nations played in formulating this new proposal or if it was simply a fresh Zaev government idea. Wh…

Vlach’s National Day marked in Skopje

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The Vlach community in Macedonia marked Sunday the Vlach’s National Day (May 23) at a ceremony held in a Skopje hotel.
Macedonia is the only country where the Vlach community is incorporated into the Constitution. May 23 is a non-working day for members of the community according to the country's law on holidays.
"Macedonia is an example not only in the Balkans, but also across Europe, of how diversity should be advanced. We believe it is perhaps the strongest argument as to why Macedonia should be part of the European starry sky. The Vlach community has a special place in the Republic of Macedonia, because you and your ancestors have played important roles - historical, cultural and political - in the establishment of our joint country," Deputy PM and Defense Minister Radmila Sekerinska told the event.
She led a government delegation, including Interior Minister Oliver Spasovski and Deputy Economy Minister Kire Naumov, to the ceremony marking the Vlach’s National Day.

Sekerinska: Republic of Ilinden Macedonia - an excellent basis for solution

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Our objective, to find a solution acceptable both for Macedonia and Greece, has been fulfilled with this proposed package, Radmila Sekerinska said Sunday.
"The foreign ministers have agreed on a package that was upheld by the two premiers in principle. The objective to find a solution positive both for Macedonia and Greece, we believe has been met with this draft-package. Yesterday, the Prime Minister clearly stated that we believe the package is offering a chance to close the process with all the parties as winners," the Macedonian Deputy PM and Defense Minister told reporters.
The Republic of Ilinden Macedonia, she stated, represents an excellent basis for a solution, because it contains a chronological qualifier, coincides with important historical dates and shows that Macedonia has never and will never foster any territorial claims.
"All elements in the solution correspond with the expectations and the demands of both Macedonia and Greece. They respond to our natio…

Athens not a fan of Ilinden Macedonia

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Macedonia’s jester proudly announced that the country will change the name to the Republic of Ilindenska Macedonia for overall use, which means that the constitution of the state will be changed. Athens agreed to it, proclaimed the SDS leader.
Despite Zaev’s proud announcement, another cold shower from Greece descended just an hour after a ‘leadership meeting’ between Zaev, the non existent opposition and Ivanov in which Zaev stated the new name will be Ilinden Macedonia.
The Greek government rejected the proposal “Republic of Ilinden Macedonia”. Tsipras’ Cabinet sent a statement saying: – We welcome the fact that the Macedonian side accepted that there can be no solution without “erga omnes”, that is, for all uses. However, we encourage our neighbors to continue working together to find a mutually acceptable name with a geographical or time determination, as suggested by UN special envoy Matthew Nimetz.
This situation caused a series of comments, including those of Macedonian journa…

Denmark to block Macedonia’s accession in the EU, regardless of name change

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Denmark has stated it is not ready at EU’s June summit to support the proposal of the European Commission to start membership negotiations for Macedonia and Albania.
No, I can say with certainty I will not support that initiative. We should be honest about that issue,” said Danish Prime Minister Lars Rasmussen after EU’s summit in Sofia.
According to him, the EU should not repeat the previous mistakes, citing the decision to start negotiations with Turkey as a grave error.
With this attitude, Denmark virtually joined France and the Netherlands, who also expressed serious stocks.
To Denmark, it doesn’t matter whether Macedonia changes its name, it has nothing to do with Copenhagen decision to block future EU enlargement.
At the moment, the official candidates for EU membership are Albania, Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro and Turkey, of which the last three have started the negotiations – Montenegro in 2012, Serbia two years later, Turkey in 2005, but in 2016 were suspended.
SOURCE: MINA

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