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 ..
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 ..
Zdravko Saveski and Vladimir Kunovski, longtime activists and members of Levica, the recently-formed left-wing party in the Republic of Macedonia, have been kept in house arrest for over a month now. Recently, their detentions have been extended for additional 30 days. They are being detained because of their participation in the anti-regime protests which began after the unconstitutional decision by the President to pardon 56 individuals suspected of heavy crimes. These events have exposed the absurdity of judicial system in Macedonia, where complete immunity from prosecution is guaranteed for the corrupt elites ..
From the diary of false faith in the outside world. Last year during my presence on the Balkan migrant route, I struggled with a number of new roles. First I was a volunteer at the borders, then all of a sudden I was to direct a documentary, and then I became a journalist, whose job was to inform the public about everyday affairs in the form of personal diary reports. I do not wish to talk about the instances when media have failed to report about migrants and refugees, nor how these issues are covered by the media (on this issue I recommend this great analysis). After a critical (self-)reflection of my own volu ..
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 ..
Note from LeftEast editors: As Macedonian protestors gather for another night of protest, we re-publish here a public statement by Leftist Movement Solidarnost, following this morning’s arrest of Zdravko Saveski, one of the most vocal, brave and tireless fighters for equality and social justice in the country. Numerous other arrests have been announced, in the midst of protests which broke out following the shameful blanket amnesty of the corrupt political elites by Macedonia’s president! “Fellow freedom fighters, VICTORY IS COMING! We have shaken the regime! But we must not yield or surrender! The f ..
“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 LeftEast editors: We publish here a demand for removal of the fence on the Macedonian-Greek border as requested by a list of Macedonian grassroots movements and NGOs. At the beginning of March 2016, Slovenia announced the re-establishing of the Schengen zone and the visa regime- only people with valid documents and visas were allowed entry on its territory, which effectively meant a closure of its borders for refugees. Croatia and Serbia followed Slovenia’s example. Macedonia followed suit last week, when it sealed off its border with Greece. With this act, “the Balkan route” last y ..