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Showing posts from October, 2018

Macedonian president opens Ohrid conference, refers to Prespa Agreement

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President Gjorge Ivanov opened Thursday a conference organized by the National Committee on Byzantine and Medieval Studies titled “The Samuel State – 1,000 Years later”, making a parallel between the circumstances that had led to the collapse of the Samuel empire and the current developments in Macedonia.

“A millennium ago, the Samuel state had faced similar challenges as the contemporary Macedonian state. Those challenges include denial, non-recognition, blocks, isolation, erroneous naming. It is up to us to maintain the academic freedom or leave a censored and falsified history to future generations,” said President Ivanov.
He said the Anti-fascist Assembly for the National Liberation of Macedonia (ASNOM) was a sprout from the same root that produced the Samuel state, with attempts made to graft another sprout to it.
“This alien sprout is the Prespa Agreement. Article 8, Point 5 of the agreement envisages the establishment of a Joint Inter-Disciplinary Committee of Experts on histo…

Skopje hosts 1st Macedonian E-commerce Conference

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The first annual Macedonian E-commerce Conference will be held Friday organised by the Macedonian e-Commerce Association.
President of Macedonian e-Commerce Association Nina Angelovska will give welcome speech, while Damjan Mancevski, Minister for Information Society and Administration and Jovan Despotovski, Director of Fund for Innovation and Technology Development, will deliver opening keynotes at the event.
Under the theme “eCommerce: The eFuture for eMacedonia!” the conference will tackle four main subjects: Development, Payments, Delivery and Marketing. The event is aiming to bring the key stakeholders in one place to connect, meet and share knowledge and experience.
DEUTSCH

Mobile phone mostly used to access Internet in Macedonia

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In Macedonia 79.3% of the households had access to the Internet at home in the first quarter of 2018. According to the data of the State Statistical Office, the participation of households with Fixed broadband connection in the total number of households is 70.4% in 2018.
In the first quarter of 2018, 79.2%% of the total population aged 15-74 used the Internet, and 68.7% used the Internet every day or almost every day.
Mobile phone or a smart phone was the most used device for access to the Internet, by 81% of Internet users in this period, and mostly among persons aged 15-24 (91.8%).
74.9% of the people used computers, laptops, smart phones, tablets or other portable devices at work. 31.6% of the people who used the Internet ordered/purchased goods or services over the internet in the last 12 months, and the majority of them (54.9%) bought clothes or sports equipment.
DEUTSCH

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 …

Parliament resumes debate on constitutional amendments on Friday

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Parliament’s debate on the proposed constitutional changes resumes on Friday (Oct. 19), Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi said after Wednesday’s session in which only SDSM MPs took part.
Earlier in the day, VMRO-DPMNE MPs said they quit the debate calling it ‘futile’ and announcing they would be voting against the constitutional changes. Also, they urged MPs of the ruling majority to cancel their speeches and to begin voting on the government motion for changing the constitution.
Speaking at the plenary session, SDSM MPs stressed that now is the time all those who have been championing NATO and EU integration to give concrete support to constitutional changes.
“Our only interest should be the state. If we keep on declaring who is a bigger patriot and who is a traitor, the result will be a defeat. Our duty as lawmakers is to pave the way of Macedonia toward stability, security and economic prosperity and the only way to get there is trough the EU and NATO,” the SDSM MPs said.
According…

Museum of Macedonia opens exhibition of Western African ritual objects

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Genuine wood objects used by the people of West Africa in various rituals will be displayed at an exhibition entitled "Ghosts of Africa: Ritual Western African Art". The exhibition opens tomorrow in the Museum of Macedonia in Skopje.

Over 70 ritual masks, sculptures and fabrics featured in the exhibition are owned by the Museum of African Art in Belgrade, founded in 1977. Its items will be displayed in Macedonia for the first time in its four-decade existence.
The wood pieces, dating back to the mid-20th century, were used in various rituals, including funerals, initiations, rites dedicated to the cults of fertility, ancestry, etc. They were used by Western African nations, namely Ghana, Burkina Faso, Nigeria, Guinea, Mali, Ivory Coast and Liberia. The sculptures are mostly anthropomorphous and they depict ancestors, deceased members of the community, spirits of nature, etc.
"Our wish was to present sculptural art, which is very characteristic for the region of Western…

Kotsias: There is no solution without the Prespa Agreement

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There will not be any other solution without accepting the Prespa Agreement, stated the head of the Greek diplomacy Nikos Kotsias after the meeting of the EU’s Council for Foreign Affairs in Luxembourg and also said that even with a simplified elementary school maths it is not possible to reach a better agreement on each side, “as the hard-lined oppositions in both countries claim.”
As MIA’s correspondent from Athens reports, Kotsias has stated that yesterday’s meeting has started with issues related to Macedonia.
-I explained that Skopje has to understand that there is no solution without accepting the Prespa Agreement and that it is not possible for what both oppositions in Greece and FYROM state it will happen, that they can secure a better agreement, for each side, since this is not achievable and with simplified elementary school arithmetics -said the head of the Greek diplomacy

Macedonia is remembering singer Toše Proeski

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Macedonia and the Balkans are remembering singer Todor "Toše" Proeski, who tragically died in car crash near Nova Gradiska eleven years ago at the age of 26.
A big concert dedicated to Tose will be held on November 2, including performances by a number of Balkan singers. An album of Proeski's unreleased songs titled "Secret Place" will also be promoted at the concert.
Tose was born on 25 January 1981 in Macedonia. His first stage appearance was already in 1993, when he sang at a children's festival. His successful career though started in 1996, when he took part in a teenage music festival. His first album was released in 1999 in Macedonian language, with his first single "Tvoite baknezi na moite beli kosuli" reaching number one in the charts.
Tose took part and won numerous festivals in Macedonia and the other former Yugoslav countries, and was considered a Balkan Superstar. He won the first ever edition of Beovizija in 2003, which later became …

USAID helps in full liberalization of energy market in Macedonia

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This is essentially the solution and assistance for resolving the energy problems in the Republic of Macedonia, Deputy PM for Economic Affairs Koco Angjusev said Monday prior to signing of the memorandum of cooperation between the USAID’s Development of Regional Energy Markets (DREM) project, the Government and Energy Regulatory Commission.
The cooperation between the USAID and the Government for technical assistance that should be provided by USAID for aligning the national legislation with the 3rd EU Energy Package and Energy Community (EC) requirements is being officially launched by signing of the two memorandums for implementation of the project “Support to the energy sector reform in Macedonia.”
Angjusev said that the Macedonia was obliged in 2014 to fully liberalize energy market, but it was not achieved. By adopting Energy Law in May 2018 this process was launched.
“It was not possible without USAID assistance that allocated funds to help us in creating the law and now to cre…

Macedonia: Gasoline, diesel prices upped

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Gasoline prices will increase by MKD 1-1.5 per litre as of Monday midnight, the Energy Regulatory Commission (ERC) has decided.
Thus, the new price of EUROSUPER BS-95 is MKD 74.5 per litre and that of EUROSUPER BS-98 is now MKD 76.5. The price of EURODIESEL (D-E V) now stands at MKD 69 and extra light household fuel (EL-1) will be sold for MKD 58.
The price of crude oil M1-HC is also increased and now stands at MKD 38.409 per kilogram.
The ERC says the new prices come as a result of the increased prices of crude oil at world markets.

Fourth ministerial meeting in Thessaloniki with Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece and Albania

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The foreign Affairs’ ministers of Macedonia, Bulgaria, Albania and host Greece, at the start of November will hold a new quadrilateral meeting in Thessaloniki.
According to the information provided by MIA’s correspondent in Athens, the fourth ministerial meeting during which it is planned a discussion about subjects on regional cooperation in many areas, will be held on the 8th and the 9th of November in Thessaloniki.
A first meeting such as this was first organized in April 2016, and the last time the heads of diplomacies have met in Thessaloniki in May this year. At the quadrilateral meeting, apart from the ministers of foreign affairs, also the ministers of interior of these four countries take part in.

USA and Macedonia Participate in Cyber Defense Cooperation

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Press release from U.S. Cyber Command:

U.S. service members, working alongside cyber defenders from the Republic of Macedonia, have been cooperating over the last few weeks to share best practices in cyber security and to build cyber defense capabilities.

U.S. Cyber Command, in cooperation with U.S. European Command, has worked closely with partners from Macedonia in conducting Cyber Defense Security Cooperation to increase interoperability and deter malign influence on the democratic processes of the U.S., our allies and our partners.
“This is part of an ongoing effort to support NATO allies and European partners by building their cyber defense capabilities while learning from one another,” said a U.S. Cyber Command spokesperson. “These efforts serve to deter foreign malign influence on the democratic processes of our allies, partners, and the U.S.”
USEUCOM works daily to plan for and conduct security cooperation activities with our European partners, and this defensive cyber securi…

Government once again calls on opposition to support constitutional revision

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Deputy Speaker Goran Misovski, representative of the ruling coalition, called Friday on opposition VMRO-DPMNE MPs at the plenary session on Monday to support the constitutional amendments stemming from the Prespa Agreement and join forces in providing European future to citizens of Macedonia.
‘I don’t wish to believe that VMRO-DPMNE deputies would not vote for the constitutional amendments on Monday,’ Misovski said, pointing out the significance of the move for Macedonia’s integration with the Euro-Atlantic institutions.

The motion for initiating constitutional amendments is in favor of the country’s future within the EU and NATO with strengthened Macedonian identity that is to be finally recognized worldwide, Misovski said.
In the meantime, VMRO-DPMNE MPs are having consultations with the party’s leadership.
The session of the Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Issues on the government's motion for constitutional revision arising from the Prespa Agreement is to resume …

Destination Macedonia! project to provide educational tours around Skopje

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Skopje's Haemus Center for Scholarly Research and Promotion of Culture has launched its Destination Macedonia! campaign, which features educational tours across the country to popularize Macedonia's rich cultural heritage.
The first tour, "Skopje's Ottoman heritage," will take place on Oct. 14.
"Old Skopje Palaces" comes next on Oct. 21, followed by "In the Footsteps of Ancient Romans" on Oct. 28.
According to Haemus, all tours were designed to provide participants with an opportunity to learn about Macedonia's cultural heritage through first-hand experience, insight, and interaction.
"The kind of tour we organize is unusual and hard to come by in the local market," says Haemus director Vasilka Dimitrovska.
"Visitors gain new knowledge, but also share their experiences and information regarding the sites we visit. We pass by some locations every day, yet know very little about their anthropological significance."
Haemu…

Macedonia: Number of tourists up 15 percent

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The number of tourists in period January-August, compared to the same period last year, increased by 15 percent, says the State Statistical Office:
The number of domestic tourists increased by 14.5%, while that of foreign tourists increased by 15.3%.
In the same period, the number of nights spent increased by 16.1%: the number of nights spent by domestic tourists increased by 14.8%, while those by foreign tourists increased by 18%.
The number of tourists in August was 211,746, and the number of nights spent by tourists was 881,806. The number of tourists in August increased by 12.2%, and the number of nights spent increased by 15%.
The number of domestic tourists in August increased by 18.1%, while the number of foreign tourists increased by 5.8%. The number of nights spent by domestic tourists in August increased by 17.9%, and the number of nights spent by foreign tourists increased by 7.6%.

Zaev: We should overcome party and political prejudices and take care of country’s future

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I hope we should find courage, to overcome party and political prejudices and to take care of the country’s future, because this is unrepeatable opportunity. The decision we make bears huge responsibility and importance for the future of the citizens, and I believe that we, above all, will think of our country, the children and the generations to come, PM Zoran Zaev said Thursday, adding that important thing is that the focus remains on the serious responsibility by all political actors, political figures, MPs and above all the Parliament.
He said that the session of the Parliament’s Committee on Constitutional Issues resumes tomorrow and after its completion, parliamentary session is scheduled to be held on Monday (Oct. 15).
Answering reporter’s question whether new investigations of Special Public Prosecution (SPO) are interpreted as pressure on members of parliament, Zaev said that Macedonia is in a specific period, and everything that happens can also be interpreted in one way or…

Tsipras-Steinmeier: Prespa Agreement is brave step

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Greek PM Alexis Tsipras and German President Frank-Walter Steinmeier at their Thursday’s meeting in Athens assessed the Prespa Agreement as courageous and brave step.
Steinmeier welcomed the agreement between Macedonia and Greece, expressing regret for the outcome of the referendum, while Tsipras said that the Prespa Agreement is a model of understanding and mutual respect for two nations, MIA reports.
“I came here to express my respect for the particularly courageous effort you reach an agreement with FYROM, with the neighbouring country, which was an extremely courageous move on your part, and I regret that the result of the referendum did not give a final solution. The great majority of those who took part in voting, of course supported agreement, but this majority was not enough. I hope that the great efforts that have been invested will not be in vain,” Steinmeier said.
Tspiras speaking about the cooperation and initiatives of Greece for wider region mentioned the Prespa Agreeme…

Politika: Mickoski is a pantomimist and Ivanov a hero

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Under the headline “Referendum Aivar”, the pro-government Serbian daily newspaper “Politika” announced on Tuesday that “instead of humbly admitting that the referendum failed, European, American and NATO officials are claiming victory, with even more intensified political passion.”
“The hypocrisy of the Western ruling political elites and the attempt to rewrite the will of the citizens of Macedonia, who did not agree to become northern southerners, revitalized the results of the referendum that was laconically assessed as consultative and are applying diplomatic pressure to change the name and push it through parliament. This will only strengthen the resistance of the Macedonians “, writes Aleksandar Apostolovski in the commentary of” Politika “.
Apostolovski is a contributor to the portals “Srbin.info” and “Academik.mk”.
The comment says that “the Macedonian voting body is divided into two deeply belligerent sides that spilled blood in Parliament, while in the background Albanians c…

Veljanoski: You don’t have a two-thirds majority to change the Constitution

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The Assembly is an institution, and MPs are the people’s representatives who will make the decisions and implement the will of the people and I urge them not succumb to any pressure, because we are resolving a decade-long conflict in order to pull the country out of isolation, said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev when he addressed the Constitutional Affairs Committee and explained the proposal for constitutional changes.
“It is time for us to take Macedonia forward together. MPs have a historic duty to secure the way towards stability, security, economic development, that is, to the EU and NATO. I call for unification for important state priorities,” said Zaev.
Former Parliament Speaker, Trajko Veljanoski, said that not one parliamentary group or opposition party were invited to contribute to the negotiations to resolve the name dispute.
“As a lawmaker, I want to announce that I do not intend to vote against the will of the majority of citizens who have decided to oppose this Agreement by …

Macedonia marks National Uprising Day

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Macedonia marks Thursday the day of anti-fascist uprising that broke out 77 years ago i.e. National Uprising Day.
Observances are taking place across the country that have been organized by the government, Parliament, the Association of WWII Veterans and the Municipalities of Prilep and Kumanovo.
To mark the national holiday, the annual state award '11 October' will be handed over at a ceremony in Parliament to this year's recipients that include Professor Dragi Mihajlovski, author Risto Lazarov, actor Petre Arsovski, and surgeon Aleksandar Stavridis.
Mihajlovski, Lazarov and Arsovski get the award for outstanding achievements in the fields of culture and art, while Stavridis for outstanding achievements in the field of health.
The rebellion against Bulgarian, Italian and German occupying forces, organized to liberate the country, began after the first Prilep partisan unit had attacked the Bulgarian police station and the telephone network in Prilep on 11 October 1941. Th…

Macedonian literature presented at Frankfurt Book Fair

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Macedonian contemporary literature, ways for cooperation with foreign partners and promotion of Macedonia as a modern cultural and literary environment will be presented at the 2018 Frankfurt Book Fair, held on Oct. 10-14.
The Ministry of Culture for the first time this year will act as commissary for national presentation.
Activities are designed to make sure Macedonian writers and their works are better promoted internationally, in the long run, according to the Ministry of Culture.
Macedonia will have its own stand at the fair to promote editions from Macedonian publishing companies, monographs about Macedonia, its cultural heritage, as well as translated books.
On October 13, an event will be organized as part of the fair in which writers from Macedonia from different generations writing different types of fiction will be promoted, alongside the call for foreign publishers, issued by the Ministry of Culture since 2013.
Minister of Culture Asaf Ademi will visit the Frankfurt Book …

Macedonian soldiers fired warning shots at Macedonia-Greece border

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Macedonian soldiers have fired several warning shots in the air at the country's border with Greece to deter a group of migrants from crossing it illegally.
According to local media, one migrant was arrested and turned over to the police, while others returned to the territory of Greece.
The Macedonian Army said in a press release that the incident happened when one of its patrols detected a group of migrants illegally crossing the border near the regional road Gevgelija-Moin. 
According to this, the patrol vocally warned the group several times, but was ignored. Several warning shots were then fired in the air, which prompted the group to head back to Greek territory, Beta agency reported on Wednesday, citing MIA agency.

Macedonian Government expects two-thirds majority for constitutional revision

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Spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski reiterated Wednesday the Government's expectations for a two-thirds majority in Parliament for endorsement of the constitutional changes.
The Parliament's Committee on Constitutional Issues is set to begin the debate on the Government's motion over the need for constitutional amendments today, with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev addressing the body.
"We believe MPs are faced with a historic decision, which is crucial for the realization of Macedonia's strategic objectives of NATO and EU membership. We believe and expect that the majority of MPs will respect the will of the majority of citizens who said 'Yes' at the September 30 referendum," Bosnjakovski told a press conference related to the decisions of yesterday's Government session. 
“The Government of the Republic of Macedonia has determined the text in line with the indications presented in the discussion at the Government session and on the basis of Article 130 of the…

Project for restoration of shop windows in old bazaars in Skopje, Bitola and Ohrid

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Ministry of Economy is to provide MKD 16,5 million (EUR 267,975) for realization of the project for restoration of the shop windows in old bazaars in Skopje, Bitola and Ohrid.
“A total of 182 applications were submitted at the announced public call of which 160 met the requirements. Of these, 115 applications were submitted for Skopje old bazaar, 38 from Bitola and 7 from Ohrid bazaar. Unfortunately, there was no application from the Struga Bazaar,” Economy Minister Kresnik Bektesi said Wednesday prior to signing of the agreements with the municipalities Centar, Cair, Bitola and Ohrid for allocation of funds from project for restoration of shop windows in the bazaars.
He said that the municipalities have one year deadline to implement activities and the funds that will eventually remain unused should be returned in the budget. Additionally, shopkeepers will have no obligation to participate with their own funds for project’s realization, which also foresees funds for entire documenta…

EP Committee on Foreign Affairs adopts report on Macedonia

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The European Parliament Committee on Foreign Affairs (AFET) by 47 votes ‘for’, nine ‘against’ and one ‘restrained’ adopted Tuesday the report of rapporteur Ivo Vajgl on Macedonia, which supports a launch of the country’s EU accession talks in June of 2019.
The EP report on the 2018 European Commission Report on Macedonia should now be adopted at the EP plenary session in November. Vajgl presented a vocal amendment to the report, which refers to the referendum outcome and notifies the need of additional support for the country’s Euro-Atlantic future and the ratification of the Prespa (name) Agreement. MEPs, it reads, encourage the government to take all necessary measures for complying with the provisions of the agreement.
Several amendments, presented by Greek MEPs, including ones of Sofia Sakorafa,who stands against the Prespa Agreement, have been rejected, MIA reports from Brussels.
At today’s debate, Sakorafa, who has been an independent MEP for Greece since abandoning Syriza part…

Prespa Agreement – historic opportunity for Macedonia, Chancellor Merkel tells PM Zaev

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The Prespa Agreement offers a historic opportunity for Macedonia and for strengthening the good-neighborly relations, German Chancellor Angela Merkel says in a letter to Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
‘On 30 September a vast majority - over 90 percent - of those who took part in the referendum voted ‘FOR’ the agreement with Greece. The agreement offers an opportunity for a historic deal and for strengthening the relations between the two countries. It also eliminates the key obstacle for the country’s accession to the European Union and NATO. Now it is crucial for the country to take very significant steps for implementing the name agreement by an adoption of the necessary constitutional amendments. I’ll continue to cooperate with you for realization of this goal,’ Merkel says in her letter, published on web-site of the German Government. 
SOURCE: MIA

MoFA confirms the death of two Macedonian citizens in two multi-vehicle crashes in Serbia

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The police department in Jagodina, Serbia, informed Macedonia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday that two Macedonian citizens were among those killed in two multi-vehicle crashes on a key highway in Serbia.
Seven people were killed and 27 others injured in the accident, which involved 34 cars and trucks and probably happened because of the fog, police said.
The collisions took place on both sides of the main north-south highway in central Serbia, 110 kilometers southeast of the capital, Belgrade.
Serbian state TV said some victims were stuck in their crashed cars for a while until rescuers pulled them out. One reporter described utter ‘chaos’ against a backdrop of smashed cars and trucks.
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Macedonian Government has prepared constitutional changes

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At yesterday’s 92nd session, the Government made a decision on the constitutional changes, that is, to submit amendments to Parliament for which it will seek support. This is happening at a time when the grounds for amending the Constitution is not certain, because it requires a two-thirds majority in Parliament, that is, 80 MPs.
The Government of the Republic of Macedonia has determined the text in line with the indications presented in the discussion at the Government session and on the basis of Article 130 of the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia and articles 193 and 194 of the Rules of Procedure of the Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia has concluded to submit it to the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia, with a proposal to the Assembly to review and to make a decision for accession to amendments to the Constitution of the Republic of Macedonia,“ the Government said.
They appealed to all MPs, regardless of their political and national affiliation, to vote on the …

IMF lowers Macedonia’s 2018 GDP growth forecast to half

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The Macedonian government in lack of economic awareness, IMF lowered GDP forecast in half: The yearly forecast was pointed at 3.2%, now the IMF says Macedonia will reach only 1.6%.

The International Monetary Fund (IMF) said on Tuesday it has lowered its projection for Macedonia's 2018 economic growth to 1.6% from 2.8% it predicted in April.
Macedonia’s economic growth will accelerate to 2.6% in 2019 and 3.4% in 2023, the IMF said in October 2018 edition of its World Economic Outlook report.
The country’s gross domestic product (GDP) posted zero growth in 2017, the IMF said.
Macedonia's annual average consumer price inflation is expected to slow to 2.0% in each of 2018 and 2019, compared to 2.4% in 2017.
The country's current account deficit is seen at 1.1% of GDP in 2018, and it is expected to further deepen to 1.6% of GDP in 2019 and 2.6% in 2023, according to October 2018 WEO report. Macedonia closed 2017 with a current account deficit of 1.3% of GDP.

Macedonia: Consumer price index decreased in September

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According to the State Statistical Office data, the Consumer Price Index in September 2018, in comparison with the previous month, registered a decrease by 0.1%, while the Retail Price Index was decreased by 0.7%. The Consumer Price Index in September 2018, in comparison with September 2017, was increased by 1.5%, while the Retail Price Index was increased by 2.6%.
A decrease in the Consumer Price Index in September 2018, in comparison with the previous month, was registered in fresh or chilled fruit by 2.0%, food products by 0.8%, edible offal by 0.7%, cheese and curd by 0.5%, oils and fats, dried vegetables, other preserved or processed vegetables by 0.4%, dry fruit and nuts by 0.3%, flours and other cereals, frozen vegetables other than potatoes and other tubers by 0.2%.
In September, there was also a decrease of the indices of passenger transport by air by 16.2%, accommodation services by 6.4%, information processing equipment by 3.0%, paramedical services by 2.4%, bicycles, pack…

Zaev for Euronews Greece: Macedonia doesn't need elections

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Macedonia doesn't need to hold elections – unless absolutely necessary, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said in an interview with Euronews Greece, explaining that MPs were currently consulting with each other.
As MIA's Athens correspondent reports, PM Zaev insisted the country would hold elections only after all options to reach a two-thirds majority in Parliament had been exhausted. He then called on all MPs to do their duty towards the country.
"Macedonia doesn't need elections," Zaev said. "Macedonia is on the right track. We'll open a chapter in June. We'll have a place at the negotiating table in Brussels and NATO while its 29 member states begin ratifying the protocol in their Parliaments. From an economic standpoint, Macedonia is doing great, and there's no need for us to hold elections – unless absolutely necessary. And, of course, if we do, the obvious goal is to achieve two thirds, or 80 MPs."
Zaev also noted that, according to latest s…

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