BIRN: Foreign Investors invested seven times less than what was announced

Skopje, 23 January, 2017 - 12:10 (META) 

Foreign investors invested seven times less than what was announced and there are three times fewer jobs than promised, shows the database “Foreign investment under scrutiny” prepared by the journalistic team BIRN Macedonia.

The survey looked at 138 investments which were announced or promoted by the government from 2007 to 2016. It shows that 43 foreign investments were not realized nor did they fall through, which is almost a third of the total number of investments in the database.

Data emerging from BIRN’s research show that only four foreign companies that invested in the country, invested as much money as promised, and the rest invested significantly less or did not invest at all.

Parties show no expenditures for utilities, communication and transportation services

Skopje, 5 December, 2016 - 21:13 (META) 

Most of the political parties have not shown expenses for utilities and communication services, as well as expenses for transportation and transportation services, a report by “Transparency Macedonia” reported, who supervise the spending of budgets and political parties during the campaign and election process.

“Eight political parties have not shown their expenses for utilities and heating, and the same parties (the coalition of VMRO-DPMNE, DUI, the coalition VMRO for Macedonia, Alliance for Albanians, PDP, LP, DPA) have not shown expenses for communication services, which actually costs a lot of money. Also, many of the parties have not shown expenditure on transport and transport services, and they stay in hotels while they hold rallies in other cities”, said the President of “Transparency Macedonia”, Sladjana Taseva.

What is noticeable from the financial reports which parties submitted to the institutions on their expenditures, is that SDSM’s financial reports match their donations from their members down to the denar, while with VMRO-DPMNE one has to really look what they’re covering up, meaning their expenditures were six times greater than their revenue.

“What we can not determined for sure is how much money is being spent on advertising online because it is not paid from the election account, but by card. Some of the parties have shown only 10.000 denars spent on advertising on websites, which does not coincide with the price lists of those media outlets. However they have already been submitted to the SEC that amount, but realistically, the amount is small”, says Taseva.

According to her, party funding should be separate from the campaign funding because it is about coalitions and often, funds from political parties overflow into campaign funding.

“Civil” Asks Political Parties to Reveal their Campaigns’ Source of Financing

Skopje, 27 November, 2016 - 14:21 (META) 

“Civil” has stressed that in Republic of Macedonia an extremely expensive pre-election campaign is being run, and political parties do not provide information about the sources of their financing.

“An expensive campaign is being led, it’s non-transparent, and no one knows where the political parties are finding finances for their campaigns. We have tried to send requests to all parties to reveal their source of financing.  Unfortunately, out of 70 parties only 5 responded as to how they finance their campaigns. The media are a different story. Unfortunately, none of what was agreed upon in the Pržino Agreement has been accomplished. Still, there is a hate speech”, said Sinisa Stankovic, the editor of “Civil”.

According to “Civil”, at the moment in Macedonia, there are no conditions for real, fair and democratic conditions for elections however there is no time or space for another delay in the elections.

Parties hide how they finance their campaigns, which cost around €1 million

Skopje, 15 November, 2016 - 16:15 (META) 

President-elect Donald Trump, during his election campaign, spent $ 600 million, while his pro-active opponent, Hillary Clinton during the race spent more than $ 1 billion. In Macedonia, the election campaigns for candidates from the main political parties during the presidential elections in 2014, spent one million euros.

For Gjorge Ivanov’s election campaign, VMRO-DPMNE spent € 878,781 euros, which can be seen from their financial statements. Meanwhile, SDSM, spent four times less than their opponents for the presidential elections in 2014, with only € 282,193.
Presidential election 2014

VMRO – DPMNE: € 878,781 euros

SDSM: € 282,193 euros

Financial statements for the campaigns for early parliamentary elections in 2014 showed that the ruling party spent about €1.5 million, while SDSM spent nearly € 200,000.

Parliamentary elections in 2014 (total)

VMRO – DPMNE: €1.5 million

SDSM: €200,000

The President of “Transparency Macedonia”, Slagjana Taseva, told “Meta” that the main problem regarding the financing of election campaigns by the parties, is that the reports do not show the real picture, to be more precise, the financial statements do not show specific details in terms of how much goes in ann how much goes out.

“They spend more money than their financial statements show, and no-one knows how they’re covering their tracks. State institutions do not fully confirm whether the loans parties have borrowed are returned, whether invoices issued are paid because there have been such cases in the past. The institutions do not proceed all the way and cannot determine how they’re covering their tracks . Also, it is necessary to determine the legality of parties expenditure, not only how they are covering their discrepancies “, said Taseva.

When asked whether discrepancies are covered and reimbursed by the state based on the votes, she thinks it is not enough because the variation in the bills are too high.

Also in the financial statements of the ruling party from the parliamentary elections in 2014, only the income from membership fees were listed. In the item expenditures, they said that the most money spent was on advertising and propaganda (€ 1.2 million).

The opposition, however, only spent € 121,045 for these purposes.

Parliamentary elections in 2014 (for advertising)

VMRO – DPMNE: €1.2 million

SDSM: €121,045

According to an analysis conducted by the Centre for Investigative Journalism “Scoop”, the way parties advertise in the media is symptomatic. The State Audit Office found violations of the Electoral Code for political advertising in the media, because the cost of the service stated in the invoice for political advertising supplied by a broadcaster is 50% lower than the fixed price in the price list for political advertising.

Although the law is in place, there is no register or records of donations, to see who donated, and how much.

Analysts also believe that after the elections, the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption has the right to inspect whether any of the donors of the winning party are awarded any business privileges because of their donation and whether any of the donors from the opposition suffered in any way.

Electoral law now allows a period of three months for parties to submit final financial reports, which also leaves enough room for “tuning”, unlike the past, when there was a one month period.

Naumov: Most important thing is whether Stavreski started the procedure of issuing Eurobonds

Skopje, 15 June, 2016 - 19:26 (META) 

The public finances are in a terrible state, and the question remains, what did Zoran Stavreski leave behind. The pressure from Nikola Gruevski, who leads the government, will be even bigger and I expect his same disastrous policy to continue, which means more loans and more borrowing – answered the President of the Finance Committee of the SDSM, Kire Naumov when he was asked by journalists what the successor to former Finance Minister, Zoran Stavreski should expect.

According to him, the most important thing is before leaving office, whether Stavreski started the procedure for issuing Eurobonds or not.

“It is a very important issue because Eurobonds, used in this way are illegitimate, illegal and it can not be public debt if issued unilaterally by the Minister no matter who he is whether it is Zoran Stavreski or someone else”, said Naumov.

The main problem in Stavreski’s work, Naumov says, is the debt, according to him, the borrowing is somewhere between 2.5 to 3 billion euros.

Dimitirev’s cabinet: The Government to conduct elections, or to fulfill wishes

Skopje, 30 January, 2016 - 20:37 (META) 

The past few days, the Government has approved jobs, premises and vehicles to secure conditions for the State Election Commission to work and to be able to function. Also DUI and VMRO-DPMNE withdrew any comments or shortcomings they had on the methodology of the SEC had prepared for cleansing voters’ list.

The ruling coalition of VMRO-DPMNE and DUI obviously did not want to leave anything incomplete, this way, then can be proud, and “boast” that they have taken all the necessary steps for the elections and to be declared successful.

“We looked at staffing issues and the needs of the SEC, and we determined that all employees will be needed, the Ministry of Finance and the Government will approve that issue. We want the SEC to complete all of its preparatory activities for the cleansing and renewal of the electoral register and other activities within its jurisdiction”, said Zoran Stavreski a week ago when he promised the SEC that they will receive help such as providing work space and vehicles.

The government rapidly approved everything they asked for, even more than that, for elections that scheduled on April 24 without the consent of the opposition parties. So far, these are the moves leading to the elections soon:

  • The government sent a statement confirming that the SEC has been provided with 50 vehicles and three new rooms in the former building of “Nova Makedonija”.
  • They have recommended to several institutions to sign a memorandum of co-operation with the SEC to make it easier to exchange data on cleansing the voter list.
  • MPs yesterday, even though some had comments on the Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva and the way she works,however,  despite this attitude from some, they still approved her budget of approximately four million euros.
  • On Wednesday amongst the pro-government media and the public service, they announced and mailed issues of ‘Codes of Balanced Reporting.’
  • MRTV – the public service, instead of battling it out at the negotiation table on media reform, they put out an advertisement for a new Editor for their informative program.
  • The Interim PM for conducting the elections, Emil Dimitriev, after yesterday’s meeting with the SEC said that the Government is committed to fair and democratic elections which shall be verified by all institutions. “From our side, we have expressed willingness to maintain communication on a daily basis and to continue to handle all problems that will help arrange fair and democratic elections, which will be verified by the institutions responsible for observation and monitoring. What remains is our communication with the SEC, to agree on resourceful meetings for individual matters and we will continue to do so in the upcoming period”, sadi the Interim Prime Minister Emil Dimitriev.

SEC to use date-bases of 13 institutions to cross-check electoral roll data

Skopje, 21 January, 2016 - 22:29 (META) 

The State Election Commission (SEC) at tonight’s session adopted a decision to use the cross comparison of data, and to use the databases of 13 institutions, including the Health Insurance Fund, Pension (PIOM), Public Revenue Office (PRO), the National Bank, Land Registry, Ministry of Labour and Social Policy and others.

The meeting of the SEC, which was scheduled for 17:45 pm, ended in just ten minutes.

At the meeting it was determined that this year the SEC will require finances of an excess of 8 million euros, most of which will be allocated for the preparation and implementation of the early parliamentary elections.

“The State Election Commission at its session held on January 21, 2016 adopted the Report of the SEC for work undertaken consistent with Article 153-a of the Electoral Code and the decision to adopt the annual plan for the total needs for procurement in 2016, the SEC – program budget 20. The members of the State Election Commission unanimously adopted the procedure for the use and processing of personal data when conducting cross-checks between various databases and records as well as the Memorandum of cooperation with the OSCE Mission in Skopje”,said the statement from today’s session at the SEC.


Janeva: I am working, and as for everything else, I leave to the Government and the Council of Prosecutors

Skopje, 27 October, 2015 - 11:56 (META) 

The Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva, officially nor unofficially did not want to comment on the situation with the Special Public Prosecutor. As for all the unresolved issues, they lead us to the rightful institutions or the Council of Public Prosecutors, the Government and the Ministry of Justice.

This was the essence of the brief telephone conversation “Meta” had with the Special Public Prosecutor, Katica Janeva.

“We are working on current affairs, the situation should go to the Council of Public Prosecutors and ask for a response from them”, said Ms Janeva.

Regarding the finance or to be precise, the budget of one million euros, which she requested to conduct her work on the prosecution; there is still no information whether the proposal has been approved. Janeva says that the Government have the final word on the general working, personnel and finances.

“I had my plans and submitted them on time, and before the deadline. It should be submitted with the official position come the government”, said Janeva for “Meta”.

The same applies for the working premises, for which the Ministry of Justice, according to Janeva, is responsible and will sat officially when they have the locations.

According to the Special Prosecutor on Monday last week (October the 19th), the government had to approve the financial budget Janeva had required, and the Ministry of Justice to provide premises for the Special Prosecutor’s Office, where she can conduct her work.

We tried, but so far, we did not get a response from the Government, maybe it is held up in session where they’re reviewing the plans Janeva submitted, eventually something will be decided.

Zaev: We do not need dirty money which is offered to us

Skopje, 5 October, 2015 - 15:45 (META) 

We do not need dirty money, said the SDSM leader Zoran Zaev when asked by Journalists whether businesses are encouraged to financially help the party.

He went on to say, such money as offered to him now, he would not accept, and that he would rather wait and encourage real businessmen.

“SDSM, is mainly funded by membership and companies that are close to Zaev, and those are my companies. So far we have managed with this sort of finance and we want to finish the project honestly until the elections in 2016”. said Zaev.

Tomorrow extraordinary EU summit dedicated to Greece

Berlin, 6 July, 2015 - 11:10 (META) 

German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Francois Hollande convened an extraordinary summit of the European Union for tomorrow, which is dedicated to Greece.

The two leaders agreed that the decision of the Greek people must be respected.

Hollande and Merkel will discuss the outcome of the referendum today in Paris.

During the day, British Prime Minister David Cameron will also hold an emergency meeting with the closest advisers and key cabinet ministers.