Law on Use of Languages will cost a lot and requires a lot of work

Skopje, 16 January, 2019 - 13:32 (META) 

With the Law on the Use of Languages published in the “Official Gazette”, it comes into effect immediately, however, the implementation will cause direct and indirect financial implications in regards to the state budget and local self-government units. The law stipulates that all institutions in the country, namely, the executive, legislative and judicial authorities, will provide Albanian translations in their day-to-day work.

The direct budgetary expenditures for the implementation of this law refer to the establishment of two new institutions, as well as the employment of translators, proofreaders and linguists in the Albanian language.

Article 18 of the Law stipulates that for the purpose of achieving the goals of this law, as well as promotion, protection and synchronized application shall be the basis for the Agency responsible for all aspects of the use of the language.

Another new institution is the Inspectorate for the Use of Languages. Article 20 stipulates that for the supervision over full and consistent implementation of the provisions of this law that refer to the use of languages, an Inspectorate for the use of languages ​​within the Ministry of Justice must be established.

Regarding employment in the new institutions, one part will be realized by taking over from other state institutions, primarily from the Secretariat for the implementation of the Framework Agreement.

“Additionally, it will be necessary to allocate 90 million denars to different budget users for the implementation of the provisions of this draft law,” reads the law.

However, these sums are only a small part of the law’s implementation, which obviously have not yet been calculated. Namely, indirect budget expenditures for law enforcement refer to changing inscriptions of institutions, invoices, stamps, banknotes, police uniforms, fire services, health care …

Re-balance to reduce budget resources for NATO integration

Skopje, 19 October, 2018 - 12:58 (META) 

The government, with the budget re-balance for 2018, plans to reduce defense spending in the Ministry of Defense planned for NATO integration. in the expenditures section of the Ministry of Defense for the 2018 budget, 935 million were envisaged for security and defense promotion, namely, the integration into NATO, and with the re-balance this item has been reduced to 855 million.

It is remarkable that the reduction of the money provided for NATO integration comes at a time when Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense Radmila Sekerinska, Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov and the National Coordinator for NATO Stevo Pendarovski as members of the NATO Integration Committee , are staying at the headquarters of the Alliance in Brussels, where the final phase of the country’s accession talks with NATO, which will last until October 19, began.

According to recent statements, if the constitutional changes to accept the agreement with Greece are passed, the whole process should be completed by the end of December, this year. Then, in January 2019, Macedonia should sign the Accession Protocol with the right to participate in all NATO departments, but without the possibility of voting, and the accession of the country to full membership should happen after the member states ratify the Accession Protocol, within their national parliaments.

The formation of the OTA is still a financial enigma

Skopje, 7 September, 2018 - 21:40 (META) 

In regards to the question of how much will it cost for the establishment of the Operational-Technical Agency (OTA), the new body that will manage the wiretapping equipment in the country, the relevant institutions have kicked the ball into another court.

Today, Parliament voted for Zoran Angelovski as director of the OTA, but it seems that nobody knows how much money from the budget has been allocated for the implementation of the new Law on the OTA or whether they’re still calculating.

Instead of detailed data on the fiscal implications of the law, it is said that the financial resources needed to implement the Law on Operational and Technical Agency will be allocated from the budget.

The Ministry of Finance was asked, who is responsible for the state budget, how much money in the budget was provided for the establishment of the OTA. They sent a response to the Ministry of the Interior.

The Ministry of Interior, however, advised that a response be requested from Parliament, and referred the issue to the competent Parliamentary Committee on Defense and Security. They did not answer the question sent to the official email address.

The OTA should start operating from November, and the establishment of this agency was one of the key recommendations by Priebe’s expert group, which required the prevention of wiretapping.

The old but new MRT management received a 3 million euros boost (Infographic)

Skopje, 17 July, 2018 - 14:55 (META) 

The parliamentary Committee on Transport and Communications yesterday accepted the proposal for re-balancing the budget of the Macedonian Radio Television, which will add another 3 million euros to the account of the public broadcaster, and MRT for 2018 will have a total of 20.8 million euros.

If this is compared with the budgets that MRT has had for several years back, and which can be seen from their annual reports and from the Public Revenue Office’s data, it is one of the higher budgets in recent years.

MRT’s income in the last 5 years

For 2018, MRT was originally planned to receive 17.8 million euros, and the rebalancing increases this amount by another three million.

The re-balancing should also be voted on in a plenary session that has not been scheduled yet.

Last year (2017), MRT had a modest 16.8, and in 2016, had over relatively high 19.3 million euros.

Now that the broadcasting fee, the main source of funding has been repealed, MRTV is left to direct funding with 0.7 of the state budget, which according to the proposed law on AAAMS, should increase to 1% and theoretically provide an income of around 21 million euros annually, with 74.5 percent of this money being allocated for financing MRTV, and the rest would be spent for financing the Media Agency and the Public Enterprise Macedonian Broadcasting (MBC).


The text is made within the framework of the project “Media Reform Observatory”, implemented by the Foundation for Internet and Society Metamorphosis, “Agora” Center for Promoting Civil Values ​​and the Platform for Investigative Journalism and Analyzes – PINA, with the financial support of the “Foundation Open” Society – Macefoom-logo-disklejmerdonia “.           The content of the text is the sole responsibility of the authors and can in no way be considered to reflect the views of the “Open Society Foundation – Macedonia”.

Kovachevski: The budget will be adopted by December 23rd the latest

Skopje, 8 December, 2017 - 19:33 (META) 

The budget for 2018 can be adopted no later than December 23rd, told “Meta” SDSM MP Vasko Kovachevski, who chaired the Finance and Budget Committee.

He added that the Parliament Speaker, Talat Xhaferi, is due to return from the United States approximatley December 15th, and during that period he will schedule a plenary session to discuss next year’s budget.

“The discussion in Parliament should last up to five working days. If Parliament Speaker Xhaferi schedules a session on December 18th and the opposition takes part in the debate, no later than December 23rd, the budget will be passed. If the opposition does not participate, the adoption of the budget can be done even earlier”, said Kovacevski.

After completing the debate on the draft budget of the Commission for financing and the budget,tomorrow he will go before the Legislative Committee in Parliament, and discuss which amendments should be considered from a legal point of view. Then the draft budget will be returned to the Government, and within five days, it should be returned to Parliament.

The draft budget for 2018 is 3.4 billion euros, the excise tax on oil will increase

Skopje, 2 November, 2017 - 12:00 (META) 

The draft budget for 2018 is worth 3.4 billion euros, announced Minister of Finances Dragan Tevdovski. Today, he presented the figures to the public, civil society organizations and representatives of the chambers of commerce.

The budget deficit is planned at 2.7% of the domestic gross product versus 2.9% last year.

This, as Tevdovski said, is aimed at gradually reducing the debt and fiscal consolidation.

The progressive personal income tax will start to apply from January 1st, 2019 and for now there will be no major tax changes. Tevdovski noted that this is so that he would not have to rush to pass the legal solution, and to have enough time for debate and to harmonize attitudes with relevant international institutions on this issue.

In terms of revenues, the Ministry of Finance has been paying an increase in the excise tax on oil for 3 denars, ie to 3,54 denars with VAT.

Rashkovski: The previous government spent 800.000 euros on employees that never went to work

Skopje, 28 August, 2017 - 13:49 (META) 

A total number of 166 government employees didn’t go to work in 2016 caused damage to the budget in the amount of  800.000 euros, announced the Government’s General Secretary on his Facebook profile.

“This is how our money was spent. A disciplinary procedure was put into motion and depending on the outcome, an appropriate procedure will follow. A damage was caused in the amount of more than 800.000 euros. While someone is mocking the rise of the minimum wages, they were paying their party soldiers not to go to work”, said Rashkovski.

According to the documents that were published by the Government’s General Secretary, 78 employees that were on the pay roll did not go to work, and on the 22nd of May were summoned to go to work by a clerk from the General Secretary’s cabinet, Biljana Miteva, who allocated them in the remaining General Secretariat’s organizational units.

The decisions for their employment were signed by the previous General Secretary, Kiril Bozinovski.

The SEC has no money to announce new tenders, Government promises funding before elections

Skopje, 12 September, 2016 - 15:23 (META) 

The second draft for the balancing of the budget, which has turned into a discussion between the Electoral Commission and Parliament, states that the budget for the State Election Commission remains close to 104 million denars. (1.6million euros) which was predicted in the first supplementary budget of June, this year.

Then the SEC had its budget cut from 531,375 000 by approximately 400 million denars from the budget for 2016. At the time, the Ministry of Finance explained that the SEC’s budget had been reduced because of a lack of a date for elections.

However, the date for elections has now been set for December 11, since the draft supplementary budget was already being discussed in the commission hearing, the amount of 104 million denars for the SEC remained the same.

However, it is possible for the amount to be adjusted so that after the Commission hearing, when the draft supplementary budget is returned to the Government, they may suggest a higher budget for the SEC, which will then be discussed at the plenary session of Parliament.

Whether and how much money is provided to the SEC, the Ministry of Finance said they have mechanisms in place to provide the necessary funds for conducting elections.

“After Parliament has announced the elections, the Ministry of Finance has mechanisms to provide the necessary funds for conducting elections”, said the Ministry of Finance to “Meta”.

They did not answer whether the amount to be provided which was initially planned for the budget for 2016, i.e. will be 531,375,000 denars, as requested by the SEC.

The SEC told “Meta” that they have yet to announce tenders for the procurement of ballot materials nor any other tender related to the elections.

“When the elections for June 5 were canceled, our budget was cut. For this reason, we can not schedule tenders to procure voting materials, or anything else related to the elections. We asked for the same amount of funding, just like all the elections before”, say the SEC.

The Municipality of Ohrid have passed the budget into a tense atmosphere

Ohrid, 27 December, 2015 - 13:29 (META) 

Ohrid next year will be counting on a budget of 18 million euros. The municipal council has approved the development plan for 2016.
To the governing majority of VMRO-DPMNE, it is functional and a sustainable budget, and will leave space for budget opportunities that will not create a new debt, and will be able to cover the old debts.

“With this concept of the budget, with numerous activities and projects, Mayor Bakracheki and this administration are careful to find an adequate number of funds where the Municipality of Ohrid can cover old debts, which is very important”, explains the Secretary of the Municipality, Dimitar Spaseski.
SDSM, meanwhile, the new budget is completely undeveloped and would not bring anything new to Ohrid.

“VMRO-DPMNE and the Mayor Nikola Bakracheski have not developed a vision for Ohrid, and citizens have know that for a long time. The Advisory Group to SDSM with its coalition partners continually says that we are obliged even today to point out that the budget for 2016 will do nothing to bring change. Мајоr Bakracheski and VMRO-DPMNE without vision, will continue for next year, 2016”, says Jovan Stojanovski, Coordinator of the Group of SDSM.

Veles: Ten villages cut-off from civilization and the budget

Veles, 25 December, 2015 - 9:37 (META) 

Cut off from civilization in the 21st century, there are almost ten thousand inhabitants of the villages of Veles. For years have been asking for the dirt roads to be paved which is meant to be planned in the Municipalities budget.

They were planned in the annual budget. Instead of 16.800.000 denars for the construction and reconstruction of the roads and streets, local government for the nine months of this year, have only spent four million denars.

Why have they not fulfilled the promises made to the citizens and where is the money which was allocated for the construction of these roads?