Showing posts from 2019

Macedonian Government to ban protests with new law on public gatherings

The Macedonian Government and the Ministry of Interior are trying to silence the citizens and their constitutionally guaranteed right to peaceful gatherings and expression of opinion through organizing public protests and rallies. A few days ago, a scandalous proposal for amendments to the Law on Public Rallies arrived at the Parliament, which suggest illogical and almost impossible conditions for the citizens and the organizers of public rallies and protests, Kurir reports.
According to Kurir, the Government and the Ministry of Interior, through these amendments, further restrict the right to public gatherings and protests, limit the time they would be held, but also increase the number of citizens required to organize such gatherings.
Namely, the most illogical and scandalous change is that the government foresees and forbids organizing public gatherings in front of and around the buildings of the state government, or in front of any state institution.

This raises the question, whe…

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

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

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

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

AIMP Media-Player offers Macedonian language support

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

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

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

Macedonia: Central Bank says yes to PayPal

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

Macedonians in Albania demand full respect of minority rights

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

Vardar Skopje victorious in Champions League season opener vs Montpellier

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

Macedonian Marvel Elif Elmas joins italian SSC Napoli

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

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

Macedonian Sun will be banned for public use in August

After exactly one month, the Macedonian Sun, the symbol of the first flag of independent Macedonia from 1992 to 1995, will no longer be seen in public use, because it will be removed from public places, and all the monuments that point to ancient Hellenic history and civilization will be appropriately marked, in accordance with the Prespa Agreement.
The Government told “Sloboden pecat” that the corrections will be completed within the stipulated time limit, but do not provide details on how the corrections will be made, how will the public use of the Kutlesh star be prevented and everything that is registered as public place and public use.
At the session held on July 4, the Government of the Republic of N. Macedonia tasked the General Secretariat to ask the competent institutions to provide information on the monuments, public and other infrastructure facilities whose names are part of the ancient Hellenic culture and civilization, in whose jurisdiction they relate to installation an…

UNESCO: While Macedonia received deadline to safe cultural heritage of Ohrid, Albania progressed

UNESCO gave the Macedonian authorities a deadline until February next year to implement the recommendations for the protection of the natural resources, to safe Ohrid as a cultural heritage, otherwise it will be proclaimed as an endangered area. On the other hand, Albania progressed.
The (private) Facebook profile "Albania Unesco" reported on Friday: "Ohrid region becomes the fourth Albanian property inscribed in the Unesco World Heritage List. It joins Butrint, Berat & Gjirokaster and the Ancient Beech Forests of Rajca and Lumi I Gashit."
Macedonia became a deadline until February, to solve the problems in Ohrid:
"The authorities have to submit to the Committee for World heritage until 1st of February a new report for saving the property, the investigation by the committee for World Heritage at the 44th session in 2020, with a possibility, in case if a danger is determined to its universal value, to be put on the list of endangered world heritage."

Eurowings started to connect Germany with Ohrid

German low-cost air carrier Eurowings launched on Monday flights linking Macedonia's beautiful and historic Ohrid to Germany's Stuttgart, later a second new route will start connecting Ohrid with Dusseldorf on July 17th.
The Ohrid-Stuttgart flights will be serviced twice a week, on Mondays and Fridays, during the summer months, Eurowings said in a statement.
The Ohrid-Dusseldorf flights will be operated just once a week, on Wednesdays, the low-cost air carrier added.
Eurowings is part of Lufthansa Group. The company has a fleet of currently 205 aircraft and is specializes in affordable non-stop flights within Europe. The German carrier offers flights to over 210 destinations in over 60 countries around the world.

At a welcome ceremony, the General Manager of operator TAV Macedonia, Alper Ersoy, said, "We are very happy to have welcomed the first Eurowings passengers from Stuttgart at Ohrid Airport."
He added: "We expect these two new destinations to increase th…

Hungary rejects extradition of Nikola Gruevski

A court in Hungary refused to extradite the fugitive former prime minister of Macedonia, Nikola Gruevski.
According to local macedonian news portal a1on, the verdict was read out on Thursday morning in the presence of Nikola Gruevski, former premier of Macedonia.
The hearing was closed to the media, but the decision was publicly announced.
Macedonia had requested its former Prime Minister Gruevski’s extradition from Hungary in late 2018, to face justice in his home country.
Gruevski, who was sentenced to two years in prison over questionable corruption charges, had fled to Hungary and sought political asylum.
The former prime minister left Macedonia on Nov. 11 and arrived in Hungary through Albania, Montenegro and Serbia, with the help of Hungarian diplomatic staff in those countries writes a1on.
Gruevski is a long-standing leader of the conservative party VMRO-DPMNE and has served as a prime minister for nearly 10 years. He was widely accused by western media of authoritarian behavi…

Zaev takes over Ministry of Finance as Prime Minister

The Prime Minister of Macedonia Zoran Zaev announced the reshuffle of the government including six ministers, the local macedonian media reported on Sunday. 
Macedonia’s Prime Minister Zoran Zaev unveiled the names of the new ministers for agriculture, environment, culture, local self-government and political system and relations between the communities.
These include Trajan Dimkovski (Minister of Agriculture), Naser Nuredini (Minister of Environment), Hysni Ismaili (Minister of Culture), Goran Milevski (local self-government) and Sadula Duraki (political system and relations between the communities.
PM Zaev said he would take over the finance portfolio himself, replacing Dragan Tevdovski for a certain period of time while also serving as prime minister.
The motion will be sent to Parliament today. I believe it will be considered next week by the MPs,” he told reporters at a press conference in Valandovo.
Prime Minister Zaev thanked the outgoing ministers of agriculture, Ljupcho Nik…

Will Macedonia be a strategic investor in bulgarian nuclear project Belene?

The possibility of assuming the role of strategic investor in the construction of the bulgarian Belene nuclear power plant appears to be in the works in Macedonia, following the invitation of Bulgaria, which was published in the Official Journal of the EU, to attract a strategic investor to this project - greek financed media Nezavisen in Skopje reports (part of Greek IBNA - Independent Balkan News Agency).
According to the information that has been released, it seems that initially interest had been expressed, and that detailed analyses are now under way.
The citizens of Macedonia will be informed on the position which will be adopted and followed by the country, as well as the steps it may undertake, said the head of the Energy Regulatory Authority in Skopje, Marko Bislimovski.
Special analysts in Macedonia and members of the Regulatory Authority of Energy support the proposal and believe that the country should take part in the construction of the bulgarian Belene nuclear power pl…

My father warned against the danger of having a Macedonian minority in Northern Greece - Mitsotakis

Greek opposition leader Kyriakos Mitsotakis said that his New Democracy party will work to reduce the damage caused by the Prespa treaty. ND is expected to take over the Greek Government later this year, as polls ahead of the general elections give it a solid lead over the leftist SYRIZA party.
Asked about whether his late father, former Greek Prime Minister Konstantinos Mitsotakis, who was toppled after he was seen as too lenient on the “Macedonian issue”, would have signed the Prespa treaty, he answered “no”. The reason why the treaty is bad for Greece, Mitsotakis, says, is that it could pave the way for greater minority rights for the Macedonians living in Greece, who have faced nearly a century of expulsions and forced assimilation.
I have read my father’s speeches on the issue and I present his words. He said that our country already has a religious minority in Thrace (Turks) and should not, under any circumstances, allow the creation of another, national minority, a Macedonian m…

Vardar Skopje beats Barcelona for Handball Champions League final

Macedonian handball champion Vardar again qualified for Champions League final after knocking out Spain’s Barcelona 29-27 in Kologne on Thursday evening. In Sunday’s final, the “red and black” team will play against Hungarian Veszprém.
Vardar made an incredible turn in the match against Barcelona and scored a victory over the favorite Spanish champion (29:27) in the second semifinal of the Final Four tournament of the handball Champions League. Although the Macedonian champion was trailing by 7 in the second half, Roberto García Parrondo’s team performed miracles.
Although Barcelona had the lead up to the 40th minute of the match, Vardar stepped up their game and began to melt the negative to reach the result 26-26 in the 57th minute and make a full comeback.
With Karacic’s goal, only 100 seconds left to the end, it was Vardar’s first lead with 27-26, and after the mistake of the opponent, Kristopans scored again, bringing a two-goal lead for the Macedonian champion. Stoilov put the …

Greek jets mount NATO practice flights over Macedonia

Macedonia says fighter jets from neighboring Greece have carried out NATO-linked test overflights of its territory as part of the country’s process of joining the alliance.
The defense ministry said Tuesday’s two flights tested radar and communications coverage of Macedonia.
Macedonia has no fixed-wing military aircraft, and NATO has a program to protect the airspace of members that do not have sufficient means of their own.
Macedonia is set to become NATO’s 30th member by the end of this year, after NATO member Greece dropped its long-standing objections.

Early Christian Basilica found during construction work on new Stip – Kocani road

An early Christian era basilica was found during construction work on the new Stip – Kocani express way.
The find was made near the village of Ziganci, and experts from the Stip museum have begun work to locate and preserve the valuable finds.
We have an extensive record of archaeological finds dating to the same period in this area, and we hope that we have uncovered a larger complex, said Mitko Sterjov from the Stip museum.
According to Sterjov, the find should not delay construction given that the crews can relocate on the other side of the planned route, and excavations could be finished by the time they reach Ziganci again, but a slight change in the route is possible.

Macedonia declares measles epidemic

Macedonia’s Health Ministry Commission for Infectious Diseases declared on Tuesday a measles epidemic on the whole territory of the country.
According to Vladimir Mikikj, an epidemiologist with the Commission, the decision was made in order to control and prevent the further spread of measles, decrease the number of new infections and also prevent severe forms of this disease.
Talking about some of the new measures, Mikikj said, unvaccinated children would not be admitted to kindergartens, and the vaccination age is to be lowered from 12 to 6 months.
“At the moment, more than 70 children are hospitalized and seven are in critical condition,” said Mikikj, adding that hospital visits are banned to prevent new infections in hospital conditions.
Since the onset of the epidemic in the capital Skopje in December 2018, a total of 961 measles cases have been registered in Macedonia.
Official data from the Institute of Public Health showed that during last week more than 60 percent of the cas…


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