NGOs ask that the government and institutions review the work of Tanturovski and DKSK


Skopje, 4 June, 2017 - 18:15 (META) 

The government and the institutions must check the basis of these inspections on NGOs and investigate misconduct of political pressure and discrimination of all concerned officers who are part of this persecution. Today the 22 civil organizations and foundations asked again, who in the past six months have had inspections from the Public Revenue Office (PRO) and the Financial Police initiated by the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption (DKSK).

The organizations say they are appalled by the statements by the President of the Anti-Corruption Commission, Igor Tanturovski, in which, according to them, it shows total ignorance of the manner of their functioning and their work.

“If they were better acquainted with the work of NGOs then Tanturovski will know that every domestic and foreign donor who decided to support a project and gave financial support to a nongovernmental are under rules which dictate that grant recipients are obliged to prepare detailed monthly, quarterly and annual narrative and financial reports . That is how you monitor the spending of money by the grantees. In addition at the end of projects, organizations often engage external auditors whose review all details in controlling the method of spending. Tanturovski and his anti- corruption officials as a state body have ways to check if funds are questionable, therefore they should not harass organizations. The Anti Corruption Commission just need to take the data from the Central Registry or the Public Revenue Office where all projects are recorded to check the work, rather than initiating months of inspections that cost money to organizations and citizens, “reads the joint statement by 22 NGOs .

NGOs say it’s funny and Tanturovski statement shows “he is afraid of the money for terrorism coming into Macedonia through civil organizations and foundations.”


SOS: An unregistered NGO, GONGO or PONGO?


“Stop Operation Soros” (SOS), was introduced to the public on January the 17th, whose only declared members so far, are historian Nikola Srbov, who often appears in the media as a “political analyst” and journalists Cvetin Chilimanov and Nenad Mirchevski, who received various descriptions by the media. For example, a national television station, classified the three as an “Initiative Committee for establishing a Civil Association, “Stop Operation Soros”. In some media reports they were presented as a “Civil Movement” and sometimes as an “Initiative Committee for establishing a Civil Movement”, and they were even described a “non-governmental organization”.

According to a legal expert “Meta” consulted with, in principle all forms of movements, as in this case, need to be registered. An interesting example of this, is the Besa Movement, which began as a movement and then registered as a political party, but the statute still stands as the name “Besa Movement” and was registered in accordance with the Law on Political Parties. The expert we contacted indicated that any form of movement for achieving political ends, in principle, no matter under what name, needs to registered, whether it be as an association or organization. This can all be found in the regulations determined by the Law on Associations and Foundations.

CentRegSOS

“Meta” requested information from the Central Registry to see if such an entity is registered under the name “Stop Operation Soros.” The answer we received was on February the 8th, around 14:30 pm which said “there are no records for the entity under the title of a ‘Citizens Association’ named “Stop Operation Soros”.

“Regarding your request, based on the records in the Trade Registry and the Registry of other legal entities submitted through the single window system in the Central Register of RM and transferred to the Trade Registry and the Registry of other legal entities, at the time of the preparation of this information in the electronic database, there are no records for a ‘Civil Association’ or ‘Civil Movement’ called STOP OPERATION SOROS”, reads the information we received.

The Facebook page for “Stop Operation Soros” describe themselves as a “Non-Governmental Organization”, or NGO. On the website “STOP OP SOROS”, which is a Macedonian domain, it says that they’re a “movement” or “global initiative”.

Associations and organizations close to the government in the world are known as GONGO (Government organized NGO / NGO organized by the government) or PONGO (Party organized NGO / NGO organized political party). They are sponsored by government or a political party to fight for their political interests, while at the same time, embodying the image of a common NGO, to present themselves as part of civil society and the territory of the country, but also on an international level.

The terms GONGO and PONGO were first used back in 1989 when it was discovered the unique position NGOs found themselves in. They could abuse their position for narrow political goals to meet the interests of small, but powerful special interests.

Therefore, GONGO / PONGO, are established to achieve internal politics or foreign policy objectives, and sometimes this is done so they are able to extract international aid, real humanitarian causes or corruption or other criminal purposes, during which GONGO / PONGO are a mask to hide the activities related to the underworld.

As for the financing of SOS, historian Srbov told “Pogled” that they’re are funded “by activists, and they are joining us everyday in large numbers”, and that they are “led by an idea, and not by financial motives.”

One of the three founders, Cvetin Chilimanov, is a journalist, and Vice President of the Macedonian Association of Journalists (MAN). He is also the editor of the English service of the Macedonian Information Agency (MIA), which is a joint stock company owned by the state, meaning it gets paid by the state budget. According to financial reports for 2015, submitted on July the 14th, 2016, to the Macedonian Stock Exchange, the total revenue for that year for the agency was 49.61 million denars. From the state budget or from the government, who owns MIA, 40 million denars were transferred that year to the agency, and the remaining 9.61 million denars were distributed for the other needs of the agency.

Mr Chilimanov was previously employed by the Cabinet of the President of Macedonia, Gjorge Ivanov, and then he was employed by MIA, where he was sent to Washington as a correspondent.

The other part of the “movement”, Nenad Mirchevski and Nikola Srbov, are connected to the magazine and website “Republika”, which until last year, it was unknown who the owner was exactly, as the issuer company “Iresine Limited” was registered in Belize, a well known tax haven, until July last year, when its owner became the then director, Done Donevski. Mirchevski, for many years has worked as a journalist and editor at “Republika” and Srbov is a columnist.


Gruevski reveals cure for Soros, and reading Trump’s book while on holiday


Skopje, 3 January, 2017 - 19:01 (META) 

On the holy night of the “mega-interview” for the online edition of the weekly news portal “Republika“, VMRO-DPMNE leader, Nikola Gruevski dedicated a huge part of the interview on the dispute with “George Soros and all the millions that he poured into Macedonia” and with the “corrupt journalists, media owners, professors, intellectuals, analysts, activists, led by professional protesters”.

“If it were not for Soros and his entire network of NGOs, media, politicians, inside and outside, who are paid and influenced by the most powerful countries in the world, when it comes to small countries like ours, that decisive influence would not that difficult, the economy would be stronger and we would have more jobs”, Gruevski said in the interview with an indicative title, “The civil sector must not remain in the hands of Soros”.

According to him, the civil sector in the future “must not remain only in the hands of Soros and foreign governments”.

“Soros in Macedonia has formed a modern army. Yes, a classic army, Soros NGOs in Macedonia have created a modern army. Today, battles are not fought with rifles and pistols as they were 100 years ago, but with NGOs, the media and corrupt journalists and they’re influenced by powerful foreign media and powerful foreign governments, who impose their policies on a country, focused on their own objectives. That is the reality and unfortunately, this is how Soros functions. And then they do whatever they want. They crush you, and they mould like you dough. They will make you into a criminal, a thief, a traitor, an idiot, incompetent, and a monster, whatever they intend to do, they will. So, you go to the elections. They’ll invent hundreds of affairs, piles of lies and misinformation, you say one thing, and something else is broadcasted. The international media, such as the “Associated Press” or the “Washington Post”, they can correctly report information, but the media financed by the Soros Foundation in Macedonia can’t. However, there is a cure for this”, said Gruevski and announced that he will reveal this cure in the second part of the interview.

Otherwise, he spent New Year’s eve at “home, with family, and then two to three days in Mavrovo,” but Gruevski did not admit to “resting” but said he had an “an active holiday, and read “a book”.

“I had an active holiday, an apparent vacation, however, my thoughts were constantly working on my plans and strategies for the future. I carried some material with me … and I read a book. “Great Again” by Donald Trump. It’s very interesting. I recommend it”, said Gruevski.


Analysis of NGO Info-center: MRT – propaganda machinery of the Government


Скопје, 3 February, 2015 - 13:56 (META) 

Within the program for continuous monitoring of the media and in cooperation with the Center for Media Development, NGO Info-center prepared an analysis of the public broadcasting service for Kezharovski’s case, for the strike of SONK and the criminal charges against SDSM leader Zoran Zaev.

“In the period from 15th to 21st of January 2015, Kezharovski’s case and strike of SONK were monitored, while on 31st of January was monitored the report of MRT for criminal charges against the leader of the opposition SDSM, Zoran Zaev. Macedonian Radio-television, fully and continuously, fails in its role as a public broadcasting service of the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. Neither in Kezharovski’s case, nor in the case of the strike of SONK, nor in the case of criminal charges against Zaev, did MRT represent the public interest, but acts as the propaganda machine of the Government and as a direct actor and instrument of government propaganda. Unlike the reporting on Kezharovski’s case, the reporting of MRT on the strike of SONK was thoroughly and daily. But, as in Kezharovski’s case, the public service reports on the strike extremely unilaterally, manipulatively and propagandistically. Editors and journalists in the informative program of MRT1 act in the role of direct participants and arbitrators who support the position of the Government and in every way trying to convince the public that the strike is harmful, that it is just for the personal benefit of union leaders and that it doesn’t have the wide support of teachers,” reads the analysis.

Regarding the latest developments on the criminal charges for SDSM leader Zoran Zaev, the analysis states that all announcements, news articles and information that were published in “Dnevnik 2” on MRT were shaped – on the one hand, to construct image of Zaev as a traitor who, without any doubt, wanted to make a coup and forceful takeover of power, and on the other hand, to present the Prime Minister as a “hero” who prevented coup attempt and who does not succumb to any pressure and blackmail.


Global Civil Society Launches Internet Social Forum


Geneva, 23 January, 2015 - 16:24 (META) 

A group of civil society organizations from around the world has announced the Internet Social Forum (ISF), to bring together and articulate bottom-up perspectives on the Internet we want . Taking inspiration from the World Social Forum, and its clarion call, Another World is possible , the group seeks to draw urgent attention to the increasing centralization of the Internet for extraction of monopoly rents and for socio-political control, asserting that Another Internet is possible!

The ISF will inter alia offer an alternative to the recently-launched World Economic Forum s Net Mundial Initiative on global Internet governance.

While the World Economic Forum (WEF) and the Net Mundial Initiative convene global elites, the ISF will be a participatory and bottom-up space for all those who believe that the global Internet must evolve in the public in a direct parallel to the launch of the World Social Forum in 2001 as a counter initiative to the WEF.

The ISF will reach out to grassroots groups and social movements across the world, catalysing a groundswell that challenges the entrenched elite interests that currently control how the Internet is managed.

The Forum s preparatory process will kick off during the World Social Forum to take place in Tunis, March 24th to 28th, 2015. The ISF itself is planned to be held either late 2015 or early 2016.