Counterspin: Just because it wasn’t noticed, doesn’t mean that the corruption at the highest levels is nonexistant


It is not true that “nowhere in the highest echelon, nor even in the second tier, any corruption was seen.” This wasn’t stated directly, but it wasn’t rejected either, if we read the whole report by the US Department of State, which refers to the country’s investment climate. This is why the prime minister of North Macedonia cannot amnesty with a plain statement the first and second echelons and the directors of public enterprises , writes Truthmeter in its latest Counterspin.

We are republishing the analysis below:


The President of the Government of North Macedonia Zoran Zaev, issued a statement about the corruption where a spin was recognized:

Spin: I will not demand responsibility from the the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the fight against corruption and crime. Nowhere in the highest echelon including the second, corruption wasn’t registered. Therefore, it wasn’t recognized among the ministers, directors but after the analysis, it was registered….in the part of the administrative functioning of the public institutions…

“After all analyses, we know the level of corruption on the third level where the citizens are making contacts on the counters – a possession registration sheet, a decision for building and similar issues and we shall change that. Even the State Department greeted the digitalization, where the literally subjective deciding factor on an administrative level will be substituted by a computer, and this subjective factor in the form of an administrative worker, who is seen as a point in the corruption between the citizens and the public administration, will be bypassed.

[Sources: 24h News – Заев/изјава и 360 Degrees -Date: 26.07.2021]



Counterspin: When Prime Minister Zoran Zaev was asked by a journalist about the corruption in North Macedonia as stated in the report by the US Department of State and whether he will ask for responsibility from the Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the fight against corruption and crime(Ljupcho Nikolovski ), he provided answers where the twisting of the truth or a spin was recognized.

Firstly it is not true that “nowheree in the highest echelon nor the second, a corruption was recognized“. This wasn’t stated directly, but it wasn’t rejected either, if the whole report by the US Department of State is read and which refers to the country’s investment climate. This is why the prime minister cannot pardon just like the first and second echelon and the directors of public enterprises.

And in the previously mentioned US report, in the section where the corruption is mentioned (Point 9 in the Report, but also in the introductory section) at least one paragraph provides an indication that it is not excluded that the corruption is present in the first, the second and the third echelon and not only in the executive power but also the judiciary and many other sectors:

At moments, the implementation of the laws for fighting corruption was weak and selectively directed toward the people who criticized the government and low-level offenders. There are authentic accusations (claims) of corruption in the implementation of laws, judiciary, and many other sectors.

If the sentences from the report are taken into account that “often there are reports of nepotism in the public procurements or that many businesses operating in North Macedonia including several US companies are identifying the cirruption as a problem in the public procurements in the judiciary – it can be seen that the report isn’t excluding the fact that the corruption can be located in both eshalons of power, as Zaev stated.

Finally, who is making the laws? In most cases, it is the Government and its ministers i.e. the apparatus of the executive power that they are managing. The question that is asked is why the government’s first and second echelon, in order to improve the conditions for prevention and fight against corruption, didn’t make an effort to adopt legislation that would strictly prevent the companies to offer bribery? At least, even through legal means that a company that doesn’t have such inner regulations cannot take part in a bid for public procurement. Since in that report, where the public procurements as a located area that is fertile for corruption, the following sentence was included:

The Government isn’t requesting from the private companies to implement inner codexes that will ban any type of bribery of public officials. Most of the domestic non-government organizations are focusing on anti-corruption and transparency in public finances and tender procedures. There are plenty of reports of nepotism in the public tenders. The government isn’t providing special protection to the non-government organizations that are included in the corruption investigations. .

As information, the public procurements only on a local level, during 2020 were 130 million EUR, and on a central level they are over one billion EUR .


It is not only the State Department! Even for the European Commission, this is a worrying issue

Actually, the corruption as a problem in a society wasn’t detected only by the State Department. In the last report about North Macedonia’s advancement toward European integrations, published in October 2020 , the European Commission had the need to mention the word corruption 66 timesand to conclude that “country hasa certain degree of preparedness / is moderately prepared to implement the EU’s legislation and the European standards in this area“ (refering to judiciary and the fundamental rights), and then to state the following:

The corruption is widespread in many areas and it remains a worrying issue.

It is clear that the US Department of State and the European Commission have stated that the corruption has spread in many areas, and the words of Prime Minister Zaev that it was mostly located in the administration, where the citizens are having contacts over the counters, and not in the first or second echelons, are twisting of the truth i.e. a spin.

Even though these reports don’t diminish the value of the efforts that the Government has made (“a good advancement was achieved by consolidation of the effect of investigating, pursuing and trials of corruption cases on a higher level “ – the general evaluation in European Commission’s report ), neither the coordination that is made by Deputy Prime Minister Ljupcho Nikolovski’s sector as systematic assistance for the bodies and sectors that basically are supposed to clean the corruption. And even though there are spins on part of VMRO-DPMNE that Zaev’s Government is “full with corruption,” the prime minister with his own statement that we are stressing it is a spin isn’t helping the fight against corruption.

Why are Zaev and his closest associates are constantly repeating that the laws are for everyone and that no one will be pardoned if it was determined that the laws were violated? Why issuing such statements if the prime minister is considering that the corruption is absent from the first and the second echelon as well as in the third at the directors?

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