Zaev: After NATO Summit, an agreement on question and date for referendum are expected

London, 11 July, 2018 - 13:14 (META) 

After the NATO summit, we will have meeting in Parliament, all political parties, to define the data for a referendum, the details of the question for the referendum, and the character of the referendum, Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev told Greek News Agency ANA-MPA, citing possible dates for holding the referendum as September 22 or 30 or October 7. He also says that constitutional changes would be made in 90 to 110 days from now.

“After the NATO summit, we will have meeting in the parliament, all political parties, to define the data for a referendum, the details of the question for the referendum, and the character of the referendum. That probably will be end of September, or beginning of October”, said Zaev, adding that it would give enough time to finalize the agreement process by the end of this year.

“After that, after the referendum, we hope that everybody will be motivated enough to contribute to the referendum process and its success”, Zaev told ANA.

The Macedonian Prime Minister in the statement for ANA-MPA emphasized that if the whole process in Macedonia is successful, it will “remain for the Greek parliament to vote for the ratification of this agreement but also to confirm the ratification of the protocol for our future membership in NATO.”

Parliament ratifies Agreement with Greece a second time, Muhić abstains

Skopje, 5 July, 2018 - 15:21 (META) 

With 69 votes “in favor”, one “abstention” and in the absence of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE, Parliament voted a second time on the law concerning the ratification of the Agreement with Greece. The Agreement was reached by the Macedonian and Greek governments on 17th of June, in Prespa, and signed by Foreign Ministers, Nikola Dimitrov and Nikos Kotzias.

Minister of Foreign Affairs, Nikola Dimitrov, in his explanation regarding the Agreement, addressed the five points that President Gjorge Ivanov wrote in his letter to Parliament as arguments for not signing off on the law.

“The first point says that ideas and proposals that can jeopardize the Macedonian identity and language can not be accepted. I assure you that neither I, nor any member of this government accepts such ideas. The final agreement is quite the opposite. On the contrary, it reaffirms and strengthens the two as never before. In practice, the agreement will establish our identity and will overcome the situation of inappropriately naming the country and the people. In the second point, he quotes the Constitution; we owe it to ourselves to be honest. As the identity can not be defended by compromising it, the Constitution can not be defended by violating it. The president, in accordance with the Constitution, is obliged to sign off on the law”, said Dimitrov.
Analyzing one of Ivanov’s arguments, Dimitrov pointed out that until now the Parliament has ratified a total of 897 agreements, of which only five were signed by the presidential office. As for the last argument, Ivanov says the signing of the law is a crime, Dimitrov says he is “on the verge of spreading fear”.

“It is time to be courageous and responsible for all future generations to come. It is time to put the interests of the homeland first. Some have personal interests, others partisan, but now we must all unite in one common interest – the state”, added Dimitrov.

The only abstention came from the ruling coalition, MP Ferid Muhić.

7 defendants received sentences totaling over 80 years prison for the attempted murder of Zijadin Sela

Skopje, 5 July, 2018 - 12:49 (META) 

The seven defendants were sentenced to prison terms ranging from 10 years and 6 months to 13 years and 6 months, in total 81 years and 6 months, for crimes such as attempted murder of MP Zijadin Sela which took place on 27th of April, last year, inciting bloody violence in Parliament, the Skopje Basic Court has announced the verdict today.

All of them were charged with attempted murder.

The accused Kire Georgievski was sentenced to 13 years, Aleksandar Janevski – Tosta received the same sentence. Nikola Vojminovski received 13 years and six months. Andrej Micov, Nikolce Dimitrievski, Oliver Osavkovski and Kosta Delov, all received 10 years and 6 months

According to the criminal act under which they were prosecuted, the defendants faced prison sentences ranging from 5 to 15 years.

Their lawyer had demanded acquittals for all of the defendants, on the grounds there was no evidence that they had tried to kill Sela.

MPs to vote on Treaty of Greece on July 5th

Skopje, 2 July, 2018 - 14:29 (META) 

The parliamentary session regarding the re-run of the vote on Ratification Law concerning the name dispute will be held on 5th of July, at today’s coordination meeting, said Parliament Speaker, Talat Xhaferi, for all coordinators of parliamentary groups.

The Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia ratified the Agreement concerning the name dispute settlement on June 20 with 69 votes “for” and 40 “against”, it was signed on the same day by Xhaferi and dispatched to the Ivanov Cabinet, which as previously he returned within the legal deadline, but without signing the Ordinance.

Last week, President Gjorge Ivanov informed the Parliament, that he would not sign the Decree.

In order to pass the law on ratification, the Parliament needs a majority of 61 votes in favor. If the vote is run again and it that case the agreement would once again be sent to the President, who according to the Constitution would be obliged to sign it.

The Netherlands agrees for Macedonia to receive a date for start of negotiations with the EU

Amsterdam, 22 June, 2018 - 15:10 (META) 

Dutch Parliament has given the green light for opening accession negotiations for Macedonia to the EU, reported Albanian Television “Top Channel”.

According to the same source, Dutch MPs could not come to an agreement as to whether Albania should receive a date for the start of negotiations with the EU.

According to them, Albania has not done enough to fight corruption and crime.

“Albania has not met the five priorities set in the progress report, because there has been no progress in legal reforms, the fight against corruption or in the fight against crime. Based on this progress, we can not open accession negotiations with the EU. The Dutch Government should not vote in favour of opening accession negotiations with the European Commission”, said the proposal from Dutch Parliament.

The Netherlands and France were the two countries that refused to give a green light for opening accession talks with Macedonia and Albania ahead of the upcoming EU summit, which is to be held on 25 June in Brussels.

Vajgl: Ivanov must not be just a representative of his party, but the entire state

Brussels, 20 June, 2018 - 18:09 (META) 

MEP and observer for Macedonia in the European Parliament Ivo Vajgl is asked to comment on the position of President Gjorge Ivanov concerning the agreement with Greece, he said that the EU has repeatedly sent him a message that Macedonia must look to the future.

“The obligation of politics, political parties and the president of the state is to take care of the perspectives of young generations. This perspective is most secure with EU membership, and even in NATO. So, there should not be any dilemmas about what the position of the President of the country is, he should not be representative of his political party, but for the whole of Macedonia and of all Macedonians. It’s a message for Ivanov. It would be very useful both for Macedonia and for him, how will people remember him when he understands it”, said Vajgl for MIA.

Hahn: I believe that all political leaders will show courage for the next steps.

EU Commissioner for Enlargement and Neighborhood Policy Johannes Hahn welcomed the ratification of the agreement by the Parliament.
“This is the first step from many others to full implementation. I believe that all political leaders will show leadership and courage for the next steps”, Hahn wrote on his Twitter account.

Parliament ratifying Agreement with Greece, for Zaev this is the end of a traumatic dispute

Skopje, 20 June, 2018 - 17:39 (META) 

Parliament with 69 votes in favor, without any votes “against” and no abstentions, ratified the Agreement with Greece regarding settling the name dispute. MPs of the opposition party VMRO-DPMNE boycotted the session and did not attend.

At the beginning of the debate, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev said that the Agreement signed in Prespa was a solution to a dispute that was has been traumatic for Macedonia for over three decades and that this was the beginning of the end of the uncertainty that threatened to go on without end.

“We have achieved a dignified and acceptable solution for both parties. The signatures in Prespa have protected our identity for centuries and centuries. We did not give anything to anybody, nor has anyone taken anything from us. This brave act is a solution that is in the interest of the citizens to both countries. We have risen above fear and I appeal for a rejection to the confines of isolation and xenophobia and give this solution a chance, finally it is the citizens who will have the final say”, Zaev said.

According to the Prime Minister, with Parliament voting for the Agreement, it is certain that a date to begin the negotiations with the EU and NATO will become a reality.

DUI’s MP Artan Grubi said that today’s decision in Parliament, established Macedonia’s statehood and made its future possible.

“For all of us together I believe, this time we are on the right side of history. Heroism is to provide a secure future for your children, their children and children after them. Each one of us should ask himself what he did on the crucial day, assumed responsibility or with a bowed head returned to their party HQ”, Grubi said.

The next step, Zaev announced would be a referendum that he said would be held late in September or early October.

VMRO-DPMNE will not take part in Parliament’s efforts on Agreement with Greece

Skopje, 19 June, 2018 - 15:30 (META) 

VMRO-DPMNE’s parliamentary group will not take part in Parliament’s efforts concerning the agreement over the name with Greece. Any further participation will be decided by party organs, said MP Antonio Miloshoski today.

According to him, the agreement is not a compromise but blackmail, which someone had to sign, either because of previous actions or future rewards.

“Legally, the agreement is anti-constitutional, and is a national humiliation”, said Miloshoski.

He blamed the abuse of the European flag of the law, thus the violation of all procedures.

MPs give green light for the fast-tracking of Agreement with Greece

Skopje, 19 June, 2018 - 15:09 (META) 

At today’s 51st Parliamentary session, MPs supported the fast-tracking of the draft-law on the ratification of the agreement with Greece, which was signed on Sunday by the foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece.

The law was explained by Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, who said that it is more than necessary for Parliament to consider the fast-tracking of this law in order to meet the upcoming deadlines for the EU and NATO summits.

“Greece has an obligation to inform the President of the EU Council, that Greece fully supports Macedonia’s bid for EU membership and to notify the NATO Secretary General regarding an invitation to join the Alliance. The June summit lies ahead, these dates are crucial to a European future of our country. In order to achieve these results, I propose that Parliament adopts this bill while employing a fast-track procedure”, said Dimitrov.

In support of the proposal, 69 MPs, that is, MPs from the majority and all Albanian parties, voted in favour, while MPs from the opposition, VMRO-DPMNE voted against with 40 votes.

The coordinator of the largest parliamentary group from the opposition, Dragan Danev, said that the deal presented before MPs was an act of capitulation by the government. According to him, the agreement represents a latter-day genocide of Macedonian rule of law and an attempt to deny our existence.

Government condemns violence and calls for atmosphere of reason and constructiveness

Skopje, 18 June, 2018 - 19:51 (META) 

The government strongly condemns the violence, hate speech and incitement to violence following yesterday’s events which were aimed at manipulating and harassing citizens, says the Government.

“We call for an atmosphere of reason and constructiveness so that a meaningful debate takes place and every Macedonian citizen has the opportunity to express his own opinion before the referendum is held, where the people can freely decide on a Macedonian prosperous future. No fear, intimidation or pressure. We urge citizens to show caution with a restrained attitude, so to recognize any fake news and misinformation that is spread via social media networks,”, reads the government statement.