The Government is taking measures for the implementation of an already approved loan by the World Bank in the amount of €90 millions because the additional Deputy Minister of Finance, Gordana Dimitrieska – Kochoska has been refusing for a prolonged period to sign the loan agreement. During yesterday’s session, the Government ministers decided to ask the State Election Committee (SEC) for its opinion which, according to the Law and Rules of Procedure of the Government, and regarding the appointment and the work of the Interim Government, has the authority to decide about issues such as this.
The assets in the amount of 90 million EUR that were already approved by World Bank’s Board and are supposed to be used to strengthen the health sector’s capacities to fight the COVID-19, acquisition of medical equipment, financing the health insurance for the unemployed and the vulnerable groups, financing the temporary support for the unemployed and securing financial aid for people who were laid off, temporary social aid for households with lower incomes, etc.
“By refusing to sign the loan agreement, the interim Deputy Minister for Finance Gordana Dimitrieska – Kochoska is jeopardizing the implementation of these initiatives. That is why SEC was asked to state its opinion about this obstruction in the Government’s operations, according to the Law and Rules of Procedure of the Government, said the government’s press release.
Health Minister Venko Filipche said today that he doesn’t see any reasons why Dimitrieska – Kochoska will not sign the agreement. As he stressed during the press conference, there were eight replies to her questions about the loan and it was explained to her how these assets will be used for providing support i.e. for acquiring machines and medical devices in the health system and all departments, for treatment of people infected with COVID-19.
The Deputy Minister Gordana Dimitrieska – Kochoska, which is part of the interim government was appointed upon VMRO-DPMNE’s proposal, considers that she isn’t blocking the process of taking of an already approved loan.
In a statement for Meta.mk Dimitrieska-Kochoska said that many details are unclear and there are no replies about the planned retroactive financing with up to 30% of the total amount of the loan i.e. for 27 million EUR for expenses since 1st of February.
“How certain aspects are justified or how would you justify an expense of 800.000 EUR out of which, 360.000 EUR are planned for engagement of experts and the remaining to be used for training of medical personnel. Why aren’t there any online training and these assets to be redirected for direct support for the citizens? How would you justify the upgrade of the “My Term” system in the amount of 200.000 EUR” asks Dimitrieska-Kochoska, who also said that she wasn’t included in negotiations about the loan.
Regarding the issues that the SEC has to settle, the Professor of Legal Sciences, Ana Pavlovska-Daneva, explains that the interim government functions with a minister and one additional deputy minister. According to the Law on Government, they both have to sign each document that is related to the elections. Each document that can, despite all good intentions, influence, or might be used as a motive during the voting process.
“According to the interim government by the “Przino Model”, SEC is the only independent organ that is appointed and can solve disputes between a minister and an interim deputy minister, in case one of them refuses to sign a document”, and SEC is making the final decision. If one of the sides is not pleased, it can file a lawsuit at the Administrative Court” said Pavlovska-Daneva.
But, she stresses that in legal theory and practice in comparative law, there is no other comparable example where a state committee, comprised of representatives from the government and the opposition, to be authorized to solve a dispute between two office-bearers of executive power.
“We are unique as we are unique with the interim government. This case with the loan agreement at the moment depends only on SEC”, said Pavlovska-Daneva.