The political temperature has been exponentially rising in Macedonia for some time now. It reached boiling point on March 1st when President Ivanov refused to grant SDSM (Social Democratic Union of Macedonia) the mandate to form a government. Neither the governing right-wing populist VMRO-DPMNE, nor the opposition party SDSM managed to obtain the majority necessary to form Government at December’s elections. It was only recently after SDSM got the support from the MPs from three ethnic Albanian parties that it was able to request the mandate. The refusal to grant it surpasses the President’s power in Macedon ..
The following article was originally published by the Serbo-Croatian online platform, Bilten. It is republished here with that site’s kind permission. Almost as shocking as the news of the targeted expulsion of 10 pregnant women mid-2016 from a textiles factory in Kriva Palanka, a town in north-eastern Macedonia, was its coverage in Macedonian media: “Pregnancy has expelled 10 female workers from their jobs”, stated one, bringing the attention to the body/reproductive condition of the female worker, and misplacing in the process the focus and responsibility away from the employer. In this case it was a text ..
This article is published in collaboration with the regional portal Bilten, where it originally came out on the 15th of December . On the 11th of December this year, Parliamentary elections in Macedonia saw the ruling DPMNE just managing to scrape by another electoral victory, winning a majority of 51 seats, compared to the 49 won by their nemesis, the SDSM (the Social Democrats). According to the State Electoral Commission, there was a 16.240 vote-difference between the two. Down to 51 mandates, DPMNE lost 10 MP seats since the last Parliamentary elections in 2014 (when it had 61 MPs), and the Party’s preponde ..
For a decade now, Macedonia has been systematically devastated by the deeply criminal rightwing populist Gruevski regime, which has demolished the rule of law, media, democracy in the country and has put the commons in the Party’s private possession resulting in rising poverty and unemployment, and a huge exodus of young people in particular. Following two waves of mass protests and an EU-mediated political agreement, the elections present an opportunity to finally get rid of Gruevski’s government. They also represent an opportunity for the relatively new political player, the recently formed lef ..
Note from LeftEast Editors: This article has been published in collaboration with the web-portal Bilten.org. A month and a half has passed since a Presidential blanket amnesty of over 50 corrupt government figures and their collaborators sparked social upheaval across Macedonia. The action laid bare deep societal rifts, cracked open by double legal standards, dividing on the one end a corrupt political class and their clients shielded by impunity, economic capital, and political power, and on the other the majority of citizens dispossessed of access to legal and social justice. Although public attention has focus ..
“In a neoliberal universe, where markets are the gauge of value, money becomes, more straightforwardly than ever before, the measure of all things. If hospitals, schools and prisons can be privatised as enterprises for profit, why not political office too?” Perry Anderson in London Review of Books, 2014, 36:10, pp. 5 Mass protests have vigorously and consistently spread across Macedonia for over ten days now. The spark of citizen revolt was caused by a Presidential blanket amnesty acquitting 56 officials from charges ranging from election rigging, embezzlement of public money and property, to corruption and p ..
Note from the LeftEast editors: this article has been published in collaboration with the Balkan web-portal Bilten. One of the foundational myths used to assess the political climate in the Balkans juxtaposes a western, genuine capitalism to a primitive balkan kind. Corruption lies at the core of this distinction. The story of the Macedonian telecommunication market not only unmasks the misconceptions underlying that myth, but also points to the crucial role played by international corruption in the workings of the ‘free market’. “A lawyer with his briefcase can steal more than a hundred men with gu ..
Thousands of pupils, students and teachers marched today across the country, in a renewed challenge to governmental education policies. Organised by the High School Plenum, the protest comes two months after the Student Plenum declared victory against reforms in Higher Education on the 24th of February, 3 months after the students’ first march on the 17th of November. “For the first time in the history of Macedonia, but also the region, students and professors will participate directly in the process of devising a law which affects them”, the Student Plenum exclaimed. Undoubtedly a huge achievement, the ..
Wrapped in a perfumed Valentine’s-meets-Mother’s-Day packaging, year after year International Women’s Day seems to become further stripped of its political flavour. What is worrying is that this occurs at a time when women face deteriorating conditions across the region, in their homes, at the work place and society at large. We asked activists, researchers and feminist thinkers, about the cross-temporal meaning of the day, the current state of women’s struggles in their countries and their sources of inspiration.
Three weeks ago the Left celebrated Syriza’s victory. The plot has thickened since, and it will surely intensify further by the 28th of February when the EU-IMF bailout is due to expire. As the Greek drama unravels, it is those who are most supportive of Syriza that will judge it most critically. Asked by LeftEast’s Adela Gjorgjoska, nine left-wing activists from Central, Eastern and South East Europe evaluate its prospects, and how these might echo beyond political imagination into national and international action. Click on each image to read each interview. — Adela Gjorgjioska ..