British photographer took a photograph of Gruevski while taking a stroll in Budapest

Budapest, 12 December, 2018 - 11:59 (META) 

Daniel Nolan, the British Guardian’s correspondent from Budapest, yesterday, on his Twitter profile has published a photograph of the rogue former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski in Budapest.

Retrock butik vo Budimpeshta za fotografijata so Gruevski

Gruevski was photographed by Nolan in the center of Budapest, as he was walking towards a desk for bus city tours for tourists “Hop On – Hop Off”. The photograph was taken in front of the boutique “Retrock” which is close to the railway station “Deak Ferenc” and the “Erzebet” park in Pesta i.e. the “Aquarium” nightclub.

The photograph was published yesterday, a month since he ran away from Macedonia. he was granted a political asylum in Hungary.

Zaev has not lost hope that Gruevski will be extradited

Stip, 10 December, 2018 - 15:37 (META) 

“I do not know what world certain people still live in, so I will ask President Ivanov. Where in the world does the executive power make arrests, or the government executive investigates, or the government executive prosecutes… ?! It is a matter for the prosecution and the judiciary,” said Prime Minister Zoran Zaev when asked to comment on a statement made by President Ivanov that “nothing is strange and he should be arrested”, given how the government has been acting lately.

After the public debate on the constitutional changes in Stip, Zaev commented on the neighbouring country’s statements related to language, the atmosphere in Greece, as well as Ivanov’s comments.

After EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn expressed skepticism that Nikola Gruevski would be delivered to Macedonia, the prime minister said he had not lost hope.

“I am continuing to make efforts as President of the Government together with the institutions, to seek his extradition, because that is the least we can expect from a friendly country, such as Hungary, an EU member state,” said Zaev.

During the debate, Prime Minister Zaev was asked by the citizens present to comment on statements made by two ministers in the Bulgarian government, Krasimir Karakachanov and Ekaterina Zaharieva.

Zaev believes that building trust with neighbouring Bulgaria should continue.

Professor Gjorgji Spasov says this is a reaction of Karakachanov, who is afraid that with Macedonia’s entry into the EU, he will remain without the money from the sale of Bulgarian passports.

Hahn: It is less likely that Gruevski will be extradited

Brussels, 10 December, 2018 - 10:23 (META) 

The EU Commissioner Johannes Hahn before the start of the EU’s Foreign Affairs Council this morning said that he doesn’t believe that Nikola Gruevski will be extradited from Hungary to Macedonia.

When asked whether he supports the amendments of the European Parliament in the report about Macedonia with which it is requested that Hungary should extradite Gruevski into Macedonia, Hahn answered that “I hope that will happen, but it is less likely because these two countries don’t have an agreement, but I understand the position of the European Parliament.”

Hahn has reported that he has spoken with ministers Nikola Dimitrov and Radmila Shekjerinska about the road forward and the Prespa Agreement in the forthcoming weeks, including the reforms that have to be implemented in order for Macedonia to receive a positive report from the European Commission.

Albanian “Top Channel” publishes old photo as disinformation of Gruevski at the border

Skopje, 7 December, 2018 - 18:59 (META) 

Albanian TV “Top Channel” released a photo of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski fleeing and claim that it was taken at the border crossing Hani Hoti at the Albanian-Montenegrin border on 11 November, 2018, at 7 pm and 11 minutes. The article and picture was shared by a large number of Albanian, Hungarian and some Macedonian media outlets, without checking the authenticity of the photo.

The “Critic” say it is actually screenshot from a video clip recorded almost a year ago on December 21, 2017 and has no connection with “Gruevski at the border”.

In the video clip, Gruevski drives a “Punto” vehicle in the Skopje city centre to a VRMO-DPMNE protest last year when he led a convoy of cars in support of those arrested and detained for the violent incursion in Parliament on April 27.


collage-gruevski vo punto

A question, which the media should have asked if the image is authentic and true, why is Gruevski the one driving the car, as it belongs to the Hungarian embassy.

The project “Critical Thinking for Mediawise Citizens – Critical” encourages a culture of critical thinking through educating the general public about the harmful effects of manipulation in the media.

It is supported by the European Union and implemented by the Metamorphosis Foundation and the European Policy Center “Eurotink”.

Zaev: I spoke to Spasovski about resigning on moral grounds, but I don’t see any shortcomings

Skopje, 5 December, 2018 - 20:42 (META) 

I am convinced that if Gruevski decides to “hit back” or to use one of his phrases “to stab Macedonia in the back”, he could damage Macedonia, but he can’t put the security of the country at risk, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev in an interview with Deutsche Welle.

“I do not think there are any implications regarding security. Macedonia does not depend on any individual, nor does any individual hold that kind of information to cause some security risks to the country. Of course, Macedonia may be damaged in some way, because we are talking about a man who was prime minister for ten years. Everything that is confidential, state secrets, official secrets, remained mostly with him,” says Zaev.

Regarding the investigation into the ex-prime ministers escape, Zaev says he has some knowledge of parts of the investigation, but he will wait for the institutions to be complete their work before giving further comments.

When asked why no-one resigned on moral grounds, Zaev says Oliver Spasovski had discussed it with him.

“As a colleague in Government and my longtime associate, we always talked about moral grounds in such circumstances. Because, if there is moral responsibility, there should be arguments for it, an explanation, to locate the moral hazard, the problem, shortcomings… I do not see such shortcomings. However, if it turns out that there was a responsibility – I will require that it be specifically dealt with,” says Zaev.

The prime minister says the constitutional changes process and the two-thirds majority will not be held hostage by issues within the jurisdiction of the judiciary.

“If we go round the process of constitutional changes, and destroy the rule of law, it will be in vain. Then we will receive a negative assessment from EU member states, who are cautiously following our processes,” emphasizes Zaev.

Civil organizations set 10 day deadline for accountability for Gruevski’s escape

Skopje, 4 December, 2018 - 14:11 (META) 

A total of 14 civil organizations, including the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia, the Metamorphosis Foundation and the Helsinki Committee for Human Rights of the Republic of Macedonia, today issued a second response to the government, setting a deadline of 10 days to determine accountability for former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s escape. Otherwise, say the civil sector, political accountability will be demanded from top officials.

“We strongly condemn the inaction of the institutions regarding the conduct of the investigations related to determining the shortcomings and responsibility of the escape of former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski. We demand the investigations be completed urgently and within 10 days, and accountability for shortcomings, possible non-compliance or complicity be determined. Otherwise, we will seek political responsibility from top officials. We appeal that Macedonia’s EU perspective not be undermined, which depends on the rule of law. Namely, more than two weeks have passed since the announcement of our first reaction and response. The failure to take any responsibility despite indications of serious shortcomings and non-compliance with the provisions of the Law on Execution of Sanctions and the Rulebook on the Manner of Performing Police Affairs by the Basic Court Skopje 1 and the Ministry of the Interior raises doubts that there is no will to establish the truth. By doing so, we are again entering a magical circle of maintaining a culture of impunity,” say the organizations.

To read the full text of the reaction and a list of all signatories click here.

Stoltenberg: Gruevski’s asylum is not a NATO related issue and this should be discussed among both states

Skopje, 3 December, 2018 - 12:54 (META) 

NATO’s General Secretary, Jens Stoltenberg has remarked that Nikola Gruevski’s asylum is not a NATO-related issue but something that should be solved between Skopje and Budapest.

-I’m not the one that should comment this. It’s an issue that should be discussed between Skopje and Budapest, said Stoltenberg at a press conference before the ministerial meeting of NATO’s North Atlantic Council with the countries contributors in the “Decisive Support” mission in Afghanistan, that was also attended by the Macedonian Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov.
Stoltenberg once again repeated his stance that the Alliance is ready to sign the accession protocol with Macedonia as soon as the Prespa Agreement is implemented and that the country should seize this opportunity.

Ružin: EP amendments concerning Gruevski have no legal effect, but may damage Hungary’s reputation

Brussels, 30 November, 2018 - 13:24 (META) 

Today, European Parliament urged Hungary to extradite exiled former Prime Minister and convicted criminal Nikola Gruevski on the grounds of amendments to the Resolution on Macedonia, even though they have no legal effect, but rather an ethical-moral attitude, it is still an unpopular measure for Hungary, says university professor and FON rector, Nano Ružin.

“Action, from a legal point of view, does not exist. This is more about the ethical and moral attitude of the European Parliament. This is because currently, the EU is not a supranational institution, but each state retains its right, especially in the domain of political systems, laws, etc. However, it is still one measure that is unpopular for Hungary. And it damages their reputation as a country, as a political system, as a democracy, and normally when forming a general standpoint for further sanctions, these amendments will be in one way, an argument against Hungary,” explains Ružin.

MEPs have asked from Hungary to extradite Gruevski

Brussels, 29 November, 2018 - 15:03 (META) 

During the vote for the resolution for Macedonia, the European Parliament  has passed two amendments with which it demand that Hungary should extradite former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski to Macedonia, reports MIA.

The Social democrats and the Green party’s groups have lodged separate amendments related to this issue, but it was feared that one lodged by the Green party will not pass due to more harsh language.

The amendment lodged by the Green Party’s MP, Judith Sagentini, apart from demanding an extradition, it also states that Gruevski has fled macedonia with diplomatic assistance from Hungary in order to avoid imprisonment and thinks of this act as interference in Macedonia’s internal affairs and as an act against the judiciary and the rule of law in the country.

The Social democrats have lodged two amendments regarding Gruevski’s asylum and both have passed. With these amendments, the European Parliament is making clear that Nikola Gruevski was tried in a transparent legal process, confirmed by several judiciary instance and it reminds that he is involved in additional 5 crime investigations.

The European Parliament has rejected all Greek amendments, including those that have requested that the word “Macedonian” should be erased from the report, including the amendment of the Greek MP which requested that the resolution for Macedonia should include the low turnout for the referendum, reports MIA.

The Green Party’s amendment was also passed about the endangerment of the environment through several infrastructural projects. The European Parliament is requesting that the projects in the national park Mavrovo should be suspended until the “Strategic evaluation of the environment” is concluded in accordance to the European legislation regarding the environment.

The Resolution lodged by Ivo Vajgl passed with 470 votes in favor of and 116 votes against.

Parliament strips Gruevski of his parliamentary immunity

Skopje, 28 November, 2018 - 15:07 (META) 

In a plenary session, without a debate, Parliament, with 62 votes in favor, accepted the recommendation from the Commission for Procedural and Mandate-Immunity Issues to strip Nikola Gruevski of his immunity.

The court has requested that Gruevski be detained for election fraud in the “Titanic” case, for irregularities in the construction of highways in the “Trajectory” case, the demolition of the Cosmos building in the “TNT” case, for the unlawful financing of the party in  the “Thaler” case, as well as for the “Slaps” case in the Municipality of Centre.

MPs from the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, whose honorary president is Gruevski did not attend the session. They also did not attend the session of the Commission for Mandatory and Mandatory Immunity Issues, which with five votes “for” adopted the six requests from the court to strip Gruevski of his immunity.

Nikola Gruevski fled Macedonia and was granted political asylum in Hungary.