Thursday, January 31, 2008



Greece refused to allow attendance of a delegation of the Macedonian Orthodox Church (MOC) at the funeral of the Greek Archbishop Christodoulos.

The explanation of the secretary general of the Synod of the Greek Orthodox Church (GPC) says that such a decision was prompted by the fact that the Macedonian Church is "canonically unrecognized church."

"MOC's request has been received on time, however, GTC does not recognize this Church," says a written notification sent to MOC.

Macedonian Foreign Ministry (FM) expressed regrets for the decision of the Greek Church authorities.

Archbishop Christodoulos, 69, died last Monday from liver cancer.

MD: Greece willing to have good neighbourly relations? Seems not, it takes two....


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The first out the 23 planned economic promoters of Macedonia, has launched its activities, the Agency for Foreign Investments announced today.

According to the announcement, last week, the economic promoter in Italy Dimce Nikolov hosted meetings with representatives of ten companies. In the following six months, he will be presenting the favorable conditions and potentials for investing in Macedonia through direct talks with Italian businessmen.

The economic promoters for Germany and Greece-Cyprus will become operational in February, and the remaining ones will be deployed until the end of March.

The target-countries of this activity of the Agency include Austria with the Netherlands and Belgium, Great Britain with Ireland and France, Czech Republic with Slovakia, Hungary-Poland, Denmark-Norway-Lithuania, Russia-Ukraine, Turkey, USA, Canada, Qatar-United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia-Kuwait, Israel-Jordan-Egypt, China-Hong Kong, South Korea-Japan, and India-Malaysia-Singapore-Australia.


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“The feeling to play at home is called happiness,” is the sentence that our piano virtuoso uttered announcing the second concert cycle through Macedonia. After successful concerts in Prilep, Strumica and Gevgelija, Trpceski will play in Stip, Kumanovo and Tetovo (11, 24 and 26 February respectively), and he is also announcing a third cycle.

Trpceski said at a press conference yesterday that he played in Stip ten years ago, and this will be his first concert visits of Tetovo and Kumanovo. The concerts will be divided in two parts with the second one including Russian classical composers Prokofiev and Rachmaninoff.

Trpceski stressed the necessity of decentralization in culture. “I am happy to play in my country. Everybody should look after dissemination of art in the Macedonian country because this is the way an image is built,” the pianist said.

Calling himself the greatest promoter of the Macedonian art in the world, Trpceski said he plays Macedonian music at each second or third concert abroad. “The Macedonian music is a part of me. That is a root. I present it in any possible occasion.” A video from the recording of the electronic press material for Trpceski’s new CD was presented at the conference. For more information, see at EMI Classics official web site.


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Wednesday, January 30, 2008



This year is of historic importance for Macedonia as the country expects an invitation for membership in NATO, a date for start of negotiations for membership in the European Union (EU) and start of visa regime alleviation negotiations.

This was stated at Tuesday's meeting in Skopje between the Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the Government members and ambassadors of the EU member-countries in Skopje and the European Representative Erwan Fouere.

The meeting set up by the embassy of Slovenia, the current holder of the Presidency over the Union, brought together deputy prime ministers Gabriela Konevska-Trajkovska, Zoran Stavreski and Imer Aliu, chief of diplomacy Antonio Milososki and Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska.

PM Gruevski briefed the participants about his recent talks in Brussels with the EU High Representative for the Common Foreign and Security Policy, Javier Solana, and the EU Enlargement Commissioner, Olli Rehn, and chief of diplomacy Milososki - about the visit to the European Parliament.

High EU representative sin Brussels had the opportunity to commend the progress that was achieved in the last two and a half months in the Parliament, European representative Erwan Fouere said, adding that if the current climate continues, it will provide enough arguments to the European Commission in the autumn report to raise the country on the next level in the pre-accession process.

The message from the EU presidency is to continue the political dialogue and the reforms, because you are on a good road, and we wish 2008 to be year of success, said Slovenian Ambassador Allen Bergant after the meeting.

France will provide productive presidency over the EU in the second half of the year for Macedonia, French Ambassador in Skopje Bernard Valero said, adding that 2008 will be very important year.

Deputy prime minister for European Integration Gabriela Konevska-Trajkovska said that the meeting with the EU ambassadors in Skopje is a good chance to present the priorities and the national programme for legislative adoption.

We believe that Slovenia and France, as presiders over the EU in 2008, will mark the historic step forward in the Euro-Atlantic integration of Macedonia, chief of diplomacy Antonio Milososki said. While answering reporter's question, Milososki reiterated that the issue about the differences about the name is not a part or the Copenhagen criteria for EU accession.

MD: We'll see if the expected invitation really will come...


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A pre-process conference of the defense of Ljube Boskoski was held on Tuesday in the Hague Tribunal.

At the conference it was talked about the current status of the case, when will the hearing of witnesses begin, which written evidence are submitted, which are translated, as well as other technical issues regarding the court proceedings.

The trial of Boskoski and Tarculovski in the Hague Tribunal began on 16 April 2007. So far, around 50 witnesses of the Prosecution were heard.

Boskoski and Tarculoski are indicted of violating rules and customs of war in regards to the Ljuboten case.

MD: Will this trial end soon? probably not, It's going on for a long time now. Some other cases are going to be handed over to Macedonia this year.


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Maja and Jovica Karalievski from Ohrid are the only representatives of Macedonia in the international festival of children’s teenage songs “The Nile” taking place in Cairo between 26th January and 5th February. Representatives of countries throughout the world are competing in the festival and the honour to defend Macedonian colours has been given to Jovica, the complete author of the song and young singer Maja.

“The songs were commissioned by an international expert jury, which makes me really happy because they selected our song in a strong competition. The chairman of the jury was Paolo Alberto of Italy, a representative of the San Remo festival, and the sponsor is the First Lady Susan Mubarak. I am also happy that we can obtain experience for our very successful festival Raspeano Ribarce where I am a music producer,” Jovica says.

MD: Good luck to them!


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Tuesday, January 29, 2008



A project for demarcation of the archaeological site of Skupi outside Skopje has started these days. The project is being carried out with donation by the Italian government, which has allotted 130,000 euros for this phase. The project will cover 50,000 square meters of the site.

“The money is intended for physical cleaning of the site from waste left by a former waste dumping company, MIG. The site will then be enclosed with a modern and safe 1,300-meter long fence. Illumination along the perimeter will be set and the site will finally be arranged with footpaths and horticulture, said Lence Jovanovska of the Museum of Skopje, the head of the project. One of the major archaeological sites in the Balkans, Skupi has been also entered in the capital investments of the government for this year.

Thus, serious archaeological and exploration works in the site are expected. According to findings so far, there was continuous life in the settlement from the Bronze Age to the Iron Age and the Renaissance under the Romans to the 10th century, or in total 3000 years.

MD: Nice! Italy is very involved in Macedonian archeology. An intense cooperation started some years ago when Italians called up Macedonian archeologists for the finding of King Perseus, the last Macedonian king, in Rome.

Update I 30/02/08 22:01 : Some question are being raised by some of the website visitors, because of the name "Skupi" in this article. First of all, Skupi is the name of the archeological site, as written above, it's located near Skopje and both names are mentioned in the article. Second, the calling of the archeological site by the name "Skupi" has nothing to do with the fact that Albanians and Turks call the city of Skopje today. The name Skupi for the archeological site is just the name of the ancient Roman town of Skupi (Flavia Scupi), of which the remains have been found at this archeological site. Click at the links below to learn more...

  • [Skupi]

  • [Skupi 2]

  • [Skupi 3]

  • []

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    A Macedonian band, Gypsy Mambo will perform in San Gwann, Malta on Friday 1 Februari at the liquid CLub. The event is organised by Fringe productions and the Malta Tourism Authority.

    This exotic band, hailing from Kocani, are a traditional consists nine members with the unmistakeable sound of Balkan brass bands, typical of the area and first presented to western audiences through the films and music of Emir Kusturica and Goran Bregovic, the likes of, Time of the Gypsies, Underground, and Black Cat White Cat.

    The popularity of these brass bands is evident in the programming of top world Music Festivals around the globe, and is due to their crowd appeal and high-energy music.

    This so called ‘Roma Oriental music’ is a fierce mix of powerful brass bands, incredible Balkan rhythms and oriental solos where raw virtuosity and boundless energy are the fuel that keep the crowds off their seats. Most bands would play at weddings and traditional feasts for days on end, sometimes playing 15-hour sets!

    Balkan brass bands have a significant gypsy character, and from western Serbia to Macedonia they are amazingly creative in changing the original rigid style of traditional brass bands.

    Gypsy Mambo was created some nine years ago, in the legendary Macedonian town of Kocani. All members come from well-known musical families with a long-standing tradition and play foremost traditional Roma and Balkan music. The orchestra has participated in prominent European festivals including Khamoro in Prague and perform regularly in Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Serbia and Montenegro and their native Macedonia.

    Gypsy Mambo have released 2 CDs and are considered masters in their style. Their repertoire consists of traditional songs as well as the Bregovic classics and original tunes. Their trance inducing arrangements are unique, due to the mix of brass instruments and percussion.

    MD: Great to see them touring Macedonian music around the world. The maltese Independent newspaper is talking about "a unique, one-off opportunity to party Balkan style in the coolest of underground venues. Dance the night away to the unza-unza beat and many more tunes of Balkan pickle." Have a look at their Myspace, at the link below.

  • [Gypsy Mambo]

  • [Independent Malta]

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    Strong winds struck the entire country Sunday night and Monday, causing large material damages in many areas, and power supply is cut off partially.As the Crisis Management Center of Kumanovo reports, the wind as strong as 30-40 meters per second rooted off trees, broke branches, ripped off material from roofs and toppled unstable structures.

    In high mountain villages (Stepance, Vracovce, Zeglane, Bajlovce etc.), according to preliminary damage reports, many roof constructions were blown away, and some auxiliary buildings collapsed. The storm cut off electricity power supply to the villages in the municipality of Kumanovo, and the supply is announced to be restored after 15 hours.

    Electricity power supply is also cut off by the wind in Veles area, where teams already work on terrain. The strong wind that has been sweeping across the Tetovo area since last night left damaged roofs, broken windows and doors, plucked out trees, entire districts cut off from the electricity supply system.

    Elektro Tetovo's representatives said that the toppled poles and trees caused disruptions in both low- and high-voltage systems, Makfax's correspondent reported. The settlement of Popova Shapka and the residential areas gravitating around the villages of Shipkovica, Gajre, Bogovinje and Jazince are cut off from the power supply system.

    The wind also ripped off a part of the roof of the Slavija hotel and blew away the roofs of several houses and objects in Tetovo's nearby villages.

    MD: The strong winds caused for serious problems in Aegean Macedonia too. In Solun there were several traffic accidents, causing jams and ships were forbidden to sail off of the city's port.


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    Monday, January 28, 2008


    MD Network.

    We came upon this interesting video, especially for the diaspora, which many of you belong to. You have probably all experienced this feeling when after a long time you go to visit Macedonia. In the airplane you see Macedonia approaching and you get a certain feeling, a feeling of being home, emotional and very excited feeling.

    The uploader of this video, has captured that wonderful moment on video in a small clip which he intensified with a beautifull song from the movie "Before the rain".



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    Milco Mancevski’s film "Shadows" will be presented at the renown US film festival in Santa Barbara.

    This is the fourth festival on the North America's continent for Mancevski's film, after its presentation in Palm Springs, Park City and the world's premiere in Toronto.

    The US public's attention for the film has been attracted by the PR campaign for Shadows, being Macedonia's Oscar candidate, within which the movie was presented in New York and Los Angeles and advertised in the most influential film magazines "Variety" and "Hollywood Reporter".

    The movie's festival tour resumes next month in Belgrade, Sofia, Istanbul and Berlin.

    Over 70,000 people have seen the movie throughout Macedonia.

    MD: It is said to be a great movie, so for all of you in the states, grab your chance to see it at one of the festivals.


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    The American Corner in Skopje marked its third anniversary this week. It was officially opened in city library “Miladinov Brothers” in January 2005, representing the partnership of the Public Relations Office within the U.S. Embassy to Skopje, Ministry of Culture, and the library.

    In the course of the past three years, the Corner has recruited about 3,000 members, with more than 10,000 annual visits, and over 100 programs.

    The American Corner also includes an educational center, which offers counseling for studying in USA, as well as information on required tests for the studies.

    The ceremony was attended by library director Filip Petrovski and U.S. Ambassador to Macedonia, Gillian Milovanovic.


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    Saturday, January 26, 2008



    A Life-saving center has been formed to operate in the national park on the Galicica Mountains, near the city of Ohrid this week. The new centre will be equipped with a special team of good trained mountaineers, with the goal to help people who are having problems on the mountain of Galicica.

    Because of that occasion, the president of the Red Cross - Ohrid, Saso Tocko, the director of the national park of Galicica, Zoran Angeloski and a representative of the mountaineer association "Magaro", Boris Arnaudov signed a memorandum of cooperation yesterday.

    Our goal is to promovate, and affirmate the tourism potential, also a realisation and coordination of activities on the territory of the Galicica national park, to create an organised security program" Said the president of the Red Cross-Ohrid, Saso Tocko.
    The centre will be located at "Stara Galicica" along the road which is almost every winter closed due to the snowfall. They believe that with the formation of this centre, they can change the category of the road into a 2nd category road, so it will be cleaned all year long even in the winter months.

    The team of rescue workers consists of well trained mountaineers of the "Magaro" association. In the weekend the team will be located at the center on the mountain, on weekdays the team will be available thru an SOS hotline at the Red Cross centre.

    MD: Recently, someone has dissapeared when hiking on the mountain, it's a good initiative for this region to have something like this.


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    Macedonia, as a country-candidate for membership in EU, accomplished great results in the fields spanning justice, freedom and security, which means it is prepared to start immediately negotiations for visa-free regime, Macedonian Interior Minister said.

    Minister Gordana Jankulovska stated this during her address at the informal ministerial meeting, taking place in Brdo, Slovenia.

    The future European policy in the fields of security and justice is in the focus of the meeting attended by the Ministers of Interior and of Justice of the EU member-countries and of the countries with a status of candidate for membership in the Union.

    On the sidelines of the meeting, Minister Jankulovska met with the EU Commissioner for Justice, Freedom and Security, Franco Frattini, as well as with the Ministers of Interior of Germany and Austria, Wolfgang Schaeuble and Guenther Platter, an official announcement says.

    MD: Macedonia has been calling for years now, and still hasnt lead to anything, will this be positive?


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    The Macedonian mobile operator, "Cosmofon" has won the tender in getting the rights to use the radiofrequency for the communication network and services of the 3G technology.

    The comission for Electronic communication stated that Cosmofon was the company with the best offer in which they pay 10.500.000 euros for the 3G licence. T-mobile was also applying in the tender. The licence is given for a period of 10 years with the possibility of continueing.

    With the coming of 3G technology, high speed data transfer on mobile phones, video call services and high speed internet have been made possible.

    MD: Not sure what 3G exactly is? Or want to know more about it? click on the link below

  • [3G]

  • [ohridnews]

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    Friday, January 25, 2008


    MD Network.

    Dear visitors,

    You may have noticed some of our new futures, like the Imenden-nameday info which we've added recently. It's a small interesting widget updated every day to inform you about Macedonian religious name days. Isn't it frustrating to not know when a certain name day is, especially when you are outside of Macedonia, or to forget a nameday of someone close to you? We really think it is, so we hope you like the idea.

    Also we've added a Macedonia Daily calendar of events, which keeps you up to date about all the Macedonian events around the world. When we get notice of a new interesting event, we'll add it to the agenda imediatelly for you to know what's going on "Macedonian" in your region. Of course we heavy rely on the information of our visitors that's why we want to ask you if you know about a event in your region or somewhere else to please let us know. You can do so by sending us a e-mail at: or by clicking on the contribute tab at the right of this page, and we will make sure it will be added to the agenda.

    (You can find these things at the right side of the page)

    Anyway, that was it for now, MD keeps on rolling, thanks for visiting, the comments and the compliments!

    [MD Network]

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    Macedonia with grief will observe on Friday the birthday of its most famous citizen, exactly at noon in Krusevo's "Makedonium" museum and monument in organisation of his family and production company "Award Entertainment". Tose's accompanying band will perform his greatest hits instrumentally, a short documentary will be screened, photographs from his tours and concerts will be displayed and the foundation "Todor Proeski" will be promoted.

    Krusevo, 25 January 1981. An angel with nightingale voice in the family of Dominika and Nikola was born. A cheerful and modest kid living an ordinary life. As fifth-grade student he performs for the first time at children's festival "Golden Nightingale" singing the song "My Grandfather and I" in Vlach language.

    His rise to fame began in 1996 by participating at two music festivals in Prilep and Stip, thus making his way towards releasing his debut album "Somewhere in the Night" in 1999 with Avalon Production which became an instant hit. His fanbase increased rapidly, while Tose's first out-door concert, held the same year in July, was crowded despite the pouring rain. In 2000 his second album "The Son of God" was released coming to great success. Hence, the star was born. Tose began setting new ground-breaking records with his songs, albums and concerts. In 2002 Tose's management was undertaken by Liljana Petrovic which marked the release of his third album "If You Look Into My Eyes".

    The forth album (A Day for Us) followed two years later. That same year he represented Macedonia at the Eurovision Song Contest with the song "Life", finishing 14th. On 29 June 2004 Tose Proeski became the first Macedonian singer to sell out a concert at the Skopje City Stadium.

    With the fifth album "After You" in 2005, Tose cemented his status as a Balkan star. His success united the fans from Serbia, Croatia, Bosnia, Montenegro. The following year saw the release of his sixth album "Rainbow", which contained covers of traditional Macedonian songs, and the signing of a contract with English manager Richard Englard and composer and music producer Andy Right. This should have expanded his career in Europe and the world.

    The fateful 2007, when Tose marked a decade of his musical career, started brilliantly - on Valentine's Day he sold out the biggest concert hall in the Balkans, Belgrade's Arena, while in September he released his seventh and latest album "Games Without Frontiers", receiving critical and commercial accolades.

    Tose Proeski's final concert was held in his homeland. On 5 October, as an ambassador of UNICEF, he sang before an audience of 25.000, for three whole hours and for humanitarian causes - reconstruction of Macedonian schools.

    All this packed in one brief live. 16 October 2007, early morning, highway, Nova Gradiska, "Tuareg", shock and disbelief, Macedonia is grief-stricken, tearful...People from all over the world are visiting the grave of Tose Proeski, who came back in Krusevo forever.


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    Investment international group “IMG” works on the project for development of a cultural trail that would link the Museum of Contemporary Arts, Skopje Fortress, Museum of Macedonia, passing through the Old Bazaar and church “St. Spas”.

    The cultural trail is to include a park of sculptures near the Museum of Contemporary Arts, as well as an archaeological park near the Fortress. The initiative is financed by the Italian Government.


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    Exhibition “Voivode Dedo Iljo Malesevski” will be opened in the Museum of Macedonia on Thursday.

    The display, which is set on the 130th anniversary from the two-month freedom of area Pijanec, and the 110th anniversary from the death of the famous leader Iljo Markov Malesevski, presents a number of documents, maps, photographs, as well as several personal items.

    Docent Nikola Zezov will open the exhibition, while senior custodian in the Museum’s Historical Department, Mirjana Nincovska is the concept author.


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    Thursday, January 24, 2008



    Prestigious music publishing house “EMI Classics” has released the 4th CD of Macedonian piano virtuoso Simon Trpceski, including pieces by Claude Debussy.

    Last fall, a team from EMI Classics recorded the electronic press material for Trpceski’s new album at several attractive locations in Ohrid and village Zbazdi at mountain Karaorman.

    The recording of the video material was assisted by Ohrid Summer festival and Bureau for Protection of Cultural Heritage.
    “The enthusiasm when accepting the idea for realization of this material in the country was a pleasant surprise for me. This is an exceptional chance for promotion of Ohrid and Macedonia, our natural beauties, history and culture, which represent an essential part of the inspiration for my performances”, said Trpceski.

    The domestic audience will have the opportunity to listen to the new material of the new CD within the second part of project “Concert Tour with Simon Trpceski” throughout Macedonia.


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    The European Union is likely to propose conditions in March for starting entry talks with Macedonia, the bloc's enlargement chief said on Wednesday.

    "If positive progress continues, then my intention is to propose... a set of benchmarks to fulfill for the launch of accession negotiations," EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said after talks with Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Reuters reported.

    He said the conditions would mainly concern reforms of the country's administrative and judicial systems and were likely to be presented in March along with policy proposals for other Balkan states queuing to join the 27-member bloc.

    "I am certain these key priorities are doable," he said.

    Brussels insists on progress on the rule of law, the rights of the Albanian minority and fighting organized crime and corruption before entry talks can start.

    "Starting of the negotiations with the Republic of Macedonia and liberalization of the visa regime will have a serious, positive impact not only on Macedonia but on the whole region," Gruevski said at a joint news conference with Rehn.


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    he European Club opened in Skopje late on Tuesday with a promotional meeting.

    The Secretary General of the Austrian Association for European Policies, Gerhard Bayer, made an address to participants.

    The event brought together lawmakers, representatives of political parties and business people, including Slovenian Ambassador Alen Bergant, whose country holds the rotating EU presidency.

    Gunter Offner, the Chairman of EVN Executive Board, spoke on behalf of the patron of the promotional meeting of the European Club - Macedonia.

    European Club is an informal platform that aims to promote the European values at national level and enhance contacts between those interested and the companies, institutions and representatives of governments of EU member-states.


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    Wednesday, January 23, 2008



    Macedonian representative at big film festival in Berlin, “I Am from Titov Veles”, directed by Teona Strugar-Mitevska, will be officially presented on February 13. It will be screened five times in the framework of program “Panorama”, which includes about 50 films.

    Besides typical authors’ films, which are regular in “Panorama”, this year’s program will present more classical narrative forms and stories from different genres.

    “I Am from Titov Veles” will compete with films from USA, Spain, Germany, Israel, Iran, Korea.
    The film’s Skopje premiere will be held in cinema “Millennium” on March 6.


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    Reconstruction of fortress Carevi Kuli over Strumica will begin in March at the latest with funds from the European Agency for Reconstruction (EAR), which allocated about Euro 288,000.

    The municipality also finances the project, and the entire investment is worth about Euro 460,000. The fortress’ reconstruction should be completed by the yearend.

    The conservation and restoration of the Strumica fortress follows last year’s intensive archaeological research carried out by the Strumica Bureau for Protection of Cultural Monuments and Museum, which resulted in excavation of a 13-century medieval church among others.

    Carevi Kuli is Macedonia’s medieval cultural heritage, raised on a hill southwest of Strumica.


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    The latest round of talks on name differences between Skopje and Athens failed to bring any progress and increased Greece's diplomatic solitude, Greek media said on Tuesday.

    The comments came after Monday's meeting of negotiators of both countries, held in Ohrid.

    There was no breakthrough emerging from the new round of negotiations between Athens and Skopje, brokered by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz. The talks reconfirmed Skopje's tenacity, Eleftheros Typos daily said.

    The same source says Greece rejected Macedonia's proposals for normalization of bilateral ties and signing of a treaty on friendship and cooperation, "with an American seal and welcomed by Nimetz.

    Greek negotiator made clear that name solution is the sole condition for good neighborly relations and confidence building, Eleftheros Typos said.

    In the headline "UN hope for continuation of name talks", Kathimerini daily says the UN mediator praised diplomats from Greece and Macedonia for their constructive approach to talks in Ohrid despite the apparent lack of progress.

    The meeting in Ohrid was “one of the best meetings in terms of straight talks,” Nimetz said after mediating the discussion.

    The paper says Macedonian side praised the Ohrid meeting, saying it was a step forward, but there were negative comments too. "The only new thing is the connection of the name issue to my country’s bid to join international organizations, which simply complicates negotiations," Macedonian negotiator Nikola Dimitrov said.


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    Tuesday, January 22, 2008



    The Bitola ZOO came under attack of a pack of wolves last night, leaving one ostrich killed, one with a ripped open chest, and one two-month stallion with injury in his back thigh, Makfax news agency reports.

    The wounds in the animals have been treated, but it remains uncertain whether they will stay alive.

    "The guard noticed the wolves while they were attacking an ostrich. Because the wolves are protected species, he fired several shots in the air to disperse them," said Pece Kalaposki, the manager of the ZOO in Bitola.

    The management fears that wolves may come back and attack again the ZOO that houses about 200 animals.

    The employees have undertaken a series of measures for their protection. The herbivorous animals are particularly exposed as their quarters are not properly enclosed, so they will be transferred to closed cages.

    MD: Unusual but interesting news, wild animals coming to a zoo on their own initiative :)


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    At yesterday's day of the fishmen, in which the people from the old part of the city of Ohrid, "Varos" are having their own news years dive at Saraiste, the ambassador of the European Union, Erwan Fouere got hold of the barrel filled with wine, which is trown into the lake.

    The custom is that the wine will be consumed by the people attending this event, and the grabber of the barrel will have luck and health in his life. There were also many young people from Ohrid diving for the barrel, but the 62 year old Irishman, Fouere was the best.

    This tradition is always the day after Ephiphany (Vodici). People call it the "Day of the fishermen" where they were swimming for luck, health and a better catch in the new season. But also a part of the old people from Ohrid say that on this day the cross (vodici) was thrown into the water secretly, in times the religion was forbidden.

    MD: Congratulations! Mister Fouere is also one of the newest citizens of the old part of Ohrid, where he bought a place and built a house which is nearly finished.


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    Macedonia offered neighbouring Greece a joint declaration of friendship and good neighbourly relations, as negotiators of both countries met in Ohrid for a new round of talks on name differences.

    Macedonian Foreign Minister Antionio Miloshoski put forward the draft during the closed-door talks that kicked off Monday in government's villa in Ohrid, Makfax news agency said.

    The draft, due to be signed by foreign ministers of Macedonia and Greece, will be on the agenda of Ohrid meeting.

    The declaration states that the Republic of Macedonia would reconfirm its stance that it will never have any territorial claims towards the southern neighbour.

    Furthermore, the draft-declaration envisages formation of a joint education-history panel, made up of historians, experts and NGOs representatives, who are to exchange views and share the facts that are disputable by any one of the two parties involved.

    Macedonia expects a positive signal regarding the draft-declaration. Greek Ambassador Adamantios Vassilakis is likely to announce Greece's position after the completion of today's talks in Ohrid.

    MD: This meeting, for the first time held outside of New York did not lead to a new proposal on the name, but negotiator Nimetz said that there has been made some progress.


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    Monday, January 21, 2008



    The famous Cypriot tennis player, Markos Baghdatis was part of the Greek fan base who sang anti-Macedonian and anti-Turkish chants at the games of the Grand Slam tournament, Australian open.

    Baghdatis has been filmed while he his singing songs against Macedonia and Turkey, at the match between the Chilean tennisplayer, Fernando Gonzales and the Greek, Konstantinos Ekonomidis.

    The Cypriot tennis player, said in his nationalistic slogans that Greece and Macedonia are one country and he also called upon the leaving of the turks from the island of Cyprus, which is divided into a Greek and Turkish part. After a while the fans got into conflict with the Australian police, responsible for the security at the Australian open tournament. Even after the incident, Baghdatis did not had the need to apologize for his behaviour.

    "I dont need to apologize, because i was protesting against the situation in my country Cyprus", Baghdatis report on the incident says. Some of the other fans which were together with Baghdatis continued causing some incidents. The police arrested three of them and dozens were blocked from their seats.

    "I heard that the police came to the fans and imediatelly sprayed them with pepper spray, and they haven't really done anything wrong. They were just encouraging and maybe they drunk a bit too much" Baghdatis said.

    Have a look at the clip below to see the incident.

    MD: According to the poster of the video on YouTube they are singing; "Kolo Tourki Mounia" meaning: "F*ck Turkish P*ssies" and "Poutanas gioi kolo skopianoi" meaning: "Macedonians are dirty Wh*res". This is clean racism and the Australian Open organisation really should do something to punish his ridiculous behaviour.

    However according to an alert reader of our website, Baghdatis is singing:
    -Ellas ellas makedonia: Greece, Greece, Macedonia.
    -Den tha gineis ellinas pote skopiane: Skopijan, you will never become a Greek.
    -Exo oi tourkoi apo tin Kypro: Turks (meaning Turkish troops) out of Cyprus.


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    Several Japanese newspapers and magazines have published reports about the city of Ohrid and it's beauties as a tourist destination. A report on Ohrid has been published in a newspaper with about 5 million copies printed.

    The interest of the Japanese has increased since the famous Japanese philosopher and humanist, Daisaku Ikeda got the world award for Humanity by the Ohrid Academy of Humanism in 2007. Ohrid was presented in the newspaper, "Seiko Simbun" and also an article about the religion conference of October was printed in the "Soka Gokai" magazine.

    MD: Good to see more and more attention to Macedonia's pearl city, and it is allready paying off, you can spot Japanese tourists often when walking in Ohrid


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    "Macedonia has a sea", says the famous archeologist and director of the protection of cultural heritage, Pasko Kuzman.
    "It is not true that Macedonia does not have a sea, we do! That's the Ohrid sea, the lake, which as the famous Sinisa Stankovic said; just like a sea, with a big cultural heritage," says Kuzman

    "The Ohrid lake has signs of several civilizations, for example the 7 - 8 ancient wooden settlements which are found under water. One of them, the one at Gradiste, is going to be reconstructed and we expect it to be finished before 8 December of this year," Kuzman explains.

    "Ohrid has much potential as a tourist destination because of the rich cultural historical heritage and the beauties which god gave to this place. But, below Ohrid lies another city. That's Lihnida (Lychnidos) expanding on the two hills on which Ohrid is lying. A visitor who will come to this city will not ask for Hotels and beaches at first, but wants to know about the magical hill. The hill, full of secrets, which are explored more and more everyday by the excavations going on at Plaosnik, the Samuil Castle and the Cyclops walls which as finished will be a great tourism attraction," Kuzman says.

    MD: Well we also do have the Aegean sea :) Anyway, lake Ohrid is really like a sea, it looks like a sea, it has waves like a sea, it is home to spunges and many other animals you would normally not find in a lake


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    Sunday, January 20, 2008



    The Ohrid Festival of Epiphany, or 'The Blessing of the Waters' in Ohrid, is held every year on January 19. This is the special occasion when many daring young Macedonian men brave the cold water to dive for a cross after it has been blessed by a priest and thrown into the Ohrid Lake.

    Mitko Topencarov (32), from the old part of the city of Ohrid, "Varos" got the cross in this year's traditional Vodici event which was held on Saturday.

    Topencarov was the lucky one to grab the cross in the ice cold water of the Ohrid lake, among 400 people trying to get it. "This is the third time where i got the cross, the first time i got it in 2000, then in 2003 and this year for the third time. Im jumping after the cross for 18 years now and i hope this tradition will continue for all the next generations," Mitko said.

    There was a live music stage and about 10000 people attended this years event.

    MD: This yearly religious event has become popular outside of Ohrid more and more. It is even promoted for foreign tourists to attend the event.


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    Saturday, January 19, 2008



    The dispute on the name between Athens and Skopje is to be resolved until 6 March, the Greek daily Eleftherotypia wrote in yesterday's edition.

    According to the paper, the Foreign Ministers of NATO member-countries are due to review the Report on the progress of the country on this date.

    "6th of March is the deadline for Greece to decide whether to use the veto right for Skopje's membership in the Alliance," the paper explains.

    The daily further says that the upcoming talks in Ohrid are unlikely to produce concrete results as the Macedonian government has no intention to make concessions and wants to preserve its position until April, when the NATO Summit in Bucharest will take place.

    Eleftherotypia claims that USA is committed to persuading Macedonia to start accession to NATO under the interim name.


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    Handicrafts, items, icons made of clay by Ljube Boskoski and Johan Tarculovski in the Hague prison, will be exhibited in Skopje’s Cultural-Information Center on January 28.

    “This exhibition will symbolically mark the day when the defense of Boskoski and Tarculovski begins in the prison, but also promoting the new, renovated selling gallery space of the Center”, said director Zlatko Stevkovski.
    Boskoski and Tarculovski have made a lot of clay items, most of which intended for their friends, the ones selected for the display.

    Actor Petar Temelkovski will deliver an address at the exhibition opening.

    MD: That's interesting, but it is not good to see them as a form of amusement, it's a tragedy that they are residing in the Hague.


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    Swiss Government decided to unfreeze the donation worth 900.000 Swiss Franks for the construction of 6 pumps for collector system at Ohrid Lake.

    Swiss authorities had frozen the grant last year following the launch of the process of separation between municipal public enterprise, initiated by Municipal Councils of Ohrid and Struga.

    The donation was reactivated after the mayors of Ohrid and Struga - Aleksandar Petreski and Ramiz Merko - undertook to comply with the terms of the Agreement on the realization of the project "Rehabilitation of Pump Stations Ohrid East". The mayors also undertook to ensure that donation funds be spent for project's purposes only.

    Macedonia Government is a guarantor of the donation. Furthermore, representatives of Macedonian Government and of Swiss Government will participate in the project's Supervisory Committee.

    The preparations for the realization of the project will begin in February. The construction is to begin in June this year.


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    The Trial Chamber of the Hague Tribunal has notified Macedonia's public prosecutor about its decision to return the four cases stemming from the country's 2001 conflict.

    The Trial Chamber notified Macedonia's Prosecutor General Ljupco Svrgovski that it would order the Office of the Hague Tribunal's chief prosecutor to return the four cases to the Macedonian authorities.

    The closing of Lipkovo dam, the torture of construction workers of Mavrovo firm, the Neprosteno mass grave site, and the NLA leadership, are four of the five cases for which The Hague Tribunal's prosecutors launched an investigation in 2002.

    However, only the Ljuboten case was brought to trial. Macedonia's ex-defense minister Ljube Boskoski and former senior police official Johan Tarculovski stand trial in The Hague.

    The trial is to resume on 29 January, when defense attorneys are to begin presentation of their evidence.


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    Friday, January 18, 2008



    The New York-based Freedom House rights organization says political freedom is on the decline in large parts of the world, noting that the results of the annual survey point to a disturbing deterioration of freedom worldwide.

    Macedonia remains in the group of partly free countries. Macedonia got 3 scores (on the scale 1 to 7) in terms of respect for political rights and civil liberties.

    "Macedonia showed small improvements in political rights and civic liberties. However, they are insufficient to make a change in labeling. The anti-corruption efforts and economic measures achieved certain success, said Sonja Kelly of the group's New York office.

    The democracy watchdog group, based in New York, said the results of this year's annual survey point to a disturbing deterioration of freedom worldwide.

    The democracy watchdog group said the results of annual survey point to a disturbing deterioration of freedom worldwide, with less than half of the Earth's population living in places that can be called free.

    Freedom House labeled 90 countries as "free", 60 countries as "partly free", and 43 countries as "not-free." The Palestinian Authority declined from "partly free" to "not free".

    Freedom House says the decline in freedom was most pronounced in South Asia, but it also reached significant levels in the former Soviet Union, the Middle East and North Africa, and sub-Saharan Africa.

    The report sees profound setbacks for freedom in large parts of the world, including Russia, Egypt, Iran, Kenya, Nigeria, Pakistan and Venezuela.

    "If you look at the record for the past two years, it represents the first time in the past 15 years that freedom has actually declined over a two-year period," said Arch Puddington, the group's research director. Large numbers of countries that were already designated "partly free" or "not free" saw serious regression away from democracy in 2007, the survey said.

    MD: Southeastern European countries were labeled as 'free' except Macedonia, Albania, BiH, and Montenegro, while Kosovo was labeled as 'Not free'.


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    Nikola Kljusev, the first prime minister of the independent and sovereign Macedonia, died last night at the age 80, Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MANU) said.

    Kljusev was born in 1927 in Stip. He is a graduate of the University of Belgrade School of Economics, obtaining a doctoral degree in 1964.

    He was researcher and Director of the Economics Institute in Skopje, Professor and Dean of the Economics Faculty in Skopje, and has been a member of the Macedonian Academy of Arts and Sciences (MASA) since 1988.

    Kljusev run a number of domestic and foreign projects. He published many books, monographies and scientific studies, including several poetry books, essays and other literature works.

    Academician Kjlusev was prime minister of the Republic of Macedonia 1991-1992. He played an important role in the establishing of independent and sovereign Macedonia.

    He served as defense minister in the period 1998-2000.


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    Winter Congress of the International Confederation of Accordion Players will be held at Skopje Faculty of Music Arts from Friday till Sunday. Faculty accordion professor Zorica Karakutovska, who is the chairperson of the Macedonian Association of Accordion Players, organizes the congress.

    The International Confederation of Accordion Players, established in 1935, is a member of the International Music Council within UNESCO and organizes the largest international accordion competition “Coupe Mondiale”. The congress will be attended by Confederation president Kevin Friedrich from USA, as well as eminent names from the accordion world, professors at conservatoriums in Russia, Portugal, Germany, Italy, Austria.

    Moreover, concert of accordion players will be held in Daut Pasin Amam on Saturday evening at 19,30h, including Aleksandar Kolovski, Bojan Volcevski, Boban Peric, Filip Stamevski, Kosto Todorovski, Zoran Kirjakovski, as well as members of chamber structure Kliment Todorovski on violin and Bojan Talevski on viola.


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    Thursday, January 17, 2008



    The Macedonian Field Hockey Federation has been officially promoted in Skopje today.

    This Olympic sport will be popularized in Macedonia by matches of the national with foreign teams, holding seminars for coaches and other activities aimed at attracting young people to this sport, it was said at today's promotion.

    David Balbirnie, the General Secretary of the European Hockey Federation, Dutch Ambassador to Macedonia, Simone Filippini and high representatives of the newly formed Federation and of the Agency for Young and Sports, attended the event.

    Macedonia is the 43rd member-state of the European Field Hockey Federation.

    MD: Nice to see Macedonia developing sport and creating new sport possibilities on a higher level. May Macedonian hockey have a wonderfull future, eventually competing in a professional way.


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    Macedonian government briefed the Diaspora on its activities to boost investments and improve business climate in the country.

    The Government organized a business forum with the Diaspora on Wednesday, which was a good opportunity for the business people of the Diaspora to speak about their own road to success and present their vision on investments in Macedonia.

    The Diaspora representatives were updated on the current activities of the Agency for Emigration.

    "The Agency for Emigration is committed to promoting the ties with the Diaspora. The Agency also works on providing conditions for their return, updates on the situation in Macedonia and inclusion of the Diaspora in the country's public and economic life," said Vasil Naumov, the Director of the Agency for Emigration.

    Naumov stressed that the Agency would offer professional-technical assistance to all potential investors of the Diaspora. The agency created a web site to update the Diaspora on its activities and the investment opportunities.


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    Solo exhibition of Macedonian artist Irena Paskali titled “Urban Landscape” was opened Tuesday in gallery “ArtPoint” in Vienna, Austria.

    Paskali presents ten photographs of large format from cycle “Urban Landscape”, as well as two video-installations.
    The exhibition, which will be open until February 29, is supported by association KulturKontakt Austria and the Austrian Ministry of Education, Culture and Art.

    MD: Something to do for all you art lovers living in the Vienna area!

  • [Irena Paskali]

  • []

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    Wednesday, January 16, 2008



    World known hotel brands, "Sheraton" and "California resorts" will build hotel complexes in the Macedonian Las Vegas, Gevgelija, close to the Bogorodica border crossing with Greece. Sheraton has bought the Turkish company "Princess" which will be the main investor of the project. "Princess" allready got the permission for building. The building process will be carried out by the Macedonian company, "Gama Ingineering". The Sheraton hotel complex will consist of 200 rooms, a casino and other facilities.

    Whereas California Resorts is planning to build a hotel and shopping centre at the shore of the Vardar river in front of the city Gevgelija. For this plan, 45 hectares of land has been bought from private owners in the region. The complex will have about 400 rooms, a casino, shopping centre, a spa and several other facilities.

    "In the Gevgelija municipality we pay much attention to the development of mountain, spa, transit and casino tourism. Because of the big number of Greek visitors, about 5.000 weekly, we are mainly focused on the casino tourism. The investors of these world brands have allready started with the urbanisation of the land just outside of the city of Gevgelija." Says Dragi Delev, Gevgelija's mayor.

    Also in the vicinity of the geothermal sources at the village of Smokvica, a Slovenian company, "Therm olinija" is about to start to build a recreational tourism complex. About 100 million euros will be invested in these projects and we will expect about 1000 new jobs to be available.

    At the southern Macedonian entrance, about 4 million travellers enter the country on a year base.

    MD: Looks good! There is allready a big hotel-casino at the border with Greece, named "Flamingo". Let's hope it will be realised and not just talking and gorgeous plans which end in nothing, like we are used to in Macedonia.

  • [Flamingo Hotel Casino]

  • [Dnevnik]

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    Macedonia is ranked 71st at the list of Index of Economic Freedom that covers 157 countries, marking a jump of four places compared to the last year.

    The annual report published Tuesday by the American think-tank the Heritage Foundation says that Macedonia's economy is 60.8 percent free, which is 0.5 percentage point higher than last year.

    The average score of all 157 countries is 60.3 percent.

    The grading is conducted on the basis of ten categories. Macedonia has best scores in the categories of monetary freedom (91.1%) and fiscal freedom (90.0%). The lowest scores are marked in the areas of freedom from corruption (27%) and property rights (30%).

    The overall rating of Macedonia puts it at 32nd place out of 41 European countries. Globally, Hong Kong has been named the world's freest economy, ahead of Singapore, Ireland, Australia and USA.

    Of the 157 countries graded numerically in the 2008 Index, only seven have very high freedom scores of 80 percent or more, putting them into the “free” economies category (the highest). The next 23 countries are in the 70 percent range, placing them in the “mostly free” category. Macedonia, along with 50 other states is ranked among the “moderately free” economies (scores of 60 percent - 70 percent), and 52 states have “mostly unfree” economies (scores of 50 percent–60 percent). The remaining 24 countries have “repressed economies” with scores below 50 percent.

    MD: Macedonia is placed in front of Moldova, Turkey, Croatia, BiH, Russia, Ukraine, Belarus and EU members, Greece and Poland while Serbia and Montenegro are not listed


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    Macedonia and Greece will resume the UN-mediated talks on name differences in Ohrid on 21 January. The new round of talks will be mediated by the UN envoy Matthew Nimetz, Radio Voice of America's Macedonian news said.

    According to information from the office of the UN Secretary General's spokesman, Macedonian Foreign Minister Antonio Miloshoski will open the talks on the name issue and related themes. This is first in a series of meetings announced by UN mediator Matthew Nimetz during his latest visit of the region, a brief statement says.

    If any progress is made in Ohrid, the next meeting will take place in Greece. The Greek-Macedonian talks on name differences regularly took place at the UN Headquarters in New York.


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    Tuesday, January 15, 2008



    Fx3X Studio for Animation and Visual Effects is starting the year with already completed work on five Hollywood films. The studio can talk publicly about two of the five films, which opened in November and December. The other three films the world openings of which will be organized this year cannot be revealed under the strict rules of procedure.

    The Macedonian animators have worked with world teams for visual effects in the fantastic family comedy “Fred Claus” with Paul Giamati, Miranda Richardson, Kathy Bates and in “The Golden Compass,” a film set among the adventurous fantastic dramas with thriller elements with Nicole Kidman, Daniel Craig, Ian McKellen.

    Besides their work on Hollywood films, the Fx3x team is busily working on advertising of world brands which they say, has already become a habit. They are among 20 companies that will promote and open a Digital Media Park in a month or two, which they are creating in the old military barracks in Aerodrom, a building that was allotted for them by the Ministry of Defense.

    MD: Bravo to them, and again succesfull macedonians!


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    Archaeologists are expecting appearance of an early Christian basilica under the 19th and 20th century church in the village of Vevcani, Struga area. Months long activities were completed ahead of the holidays but sources have said that they will continue this year.

    “A team works on the church in whose depth we found Mason elements – a triangle with an eye. We discussed this occurrence, and the archaeologists are still in the upper horizons. They are examining things one by one and gradually going down,” archaeologist Pasko Kuzman, Director of the Directorate for Protection of Cultural heritage says.


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    We will remember eternally and with a proud our heroes who died on their way to homeland after successfully completing the mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonian President Branko Crvenkovski said on Monday. The statement was made at today's commemoration of the death of 11 members of the Army of the Republic of Macedonia (ERM).

    Crvenkovski stressed that such a tragic loss of soldiers was not seen in the country's recent history. "The misfortune is even bigger, as young soldiers and senior officers died while returning home to their families after successfully conducted mission." Crvenkovski paid tribute to dead soldiers, noting that they were Macedonia's proud and its ambassadors.

    "Only the best in ARM have been granted the honor of being a part of the international peacekeeping missions abroad, in which our country is contributing to peace and stability. It is the unconditional commitment by these soldiers in the past few years that had entrenched the country's international reputation and credibility. They have helped their own country to tackle the most difficult challenges, said Crvenkovski, the President and the Supreme Commander of Macedonia's Armed Forces.

    Defense Minister Lazar Elenovski said Macedonia lost 11 heroes, dedicated members of the ARM, personalities with highest values of humanity, professionalism, dedicated, modesty and patriotism. "In these deepest moments of grief, Macedonia must show dignity and respect for what our heroes had died for. The Ministry of Defense will never abandon the families of these heroes," Elenovski said.

    "Macedonia's army is flooded with grief. The loss of our colleagues, true friends, and good people with huge hearts had unleashed a never-ending pain," said General Miroslav Stojanovski, Army Chief of Staff. "With their unselfish dedication to peacekeeping mission in BIH, along with other members of ARM participating in other missions across the world, they were not just a missionaries but also prominent ambassadors of Macedonia, General Stojanovski said.

    Macedonia's peacekeepers, killed in helicopter crash just minutes before landing at Skopje's airport last Saturday, will be buried on Tuesday with highest military honors. The aircraft was carrying the peace keeps back home after a six-month duty within the EU-led mission in Bosnia.


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    Monday, January 14, 2008



    The traditional Vevchani carnival, characteristic by its archaic, traditional, mysterious and unique masks, was held this weekend in Vevcani.

    The carnival is one of the biggest and most unique Macedonian cultural characteristics, where the coming of the New Year (according to the old calendar) is being celebrated. It is actually a mixture of the pagan and modern manner of celebration. The celebration honours St. Vasilij the Great, protector of masked people and protector of the village of Vevchani.

    Numerous masked participants from Vevchani and other parts of Macedonia were taking part and welcoming many other from Bulgaria, Montenegro and Croatia.

    The carnival parade will began Sunday, after which folk concerts by famous folk singers were scheduled. The traditional walk to the springs was held at the Vevchani springs early Sunday, whereas the traditional Vevchani mask parade will be held at village's center on January 14.

    Travel Channel has announced a set of special documentaries on the Vevchani carnival. Thus, this small town and Macedonia will be presented on the famous satellite TV as a new tourist destination.

    The Vevchani carnival has been part of the World Carnival Towns Association since 1993, whereas the carnival has 1400-year long tradition. It is the only carnival in Macedonia that has survived the 1950s, when the country considered that all carnival traditions should cease.

    The carnival each year is visited by over 50.000 guests from Macedonia and abroad.

    With an official act of Vevcani municipality, January 13 and 14 are officially proclaimed for holidays in Vevchani.


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    The film “The Powder Keg” by director Goran Paskaljevic, based on the play with the likewise title by the Macedonian playwright Dejan Dukovski, will be screened at the Museum of Modern Art in New York at 8.15 p.m.

    The screening is a part of a retrospective of works by Goran Paskaljevic within which the author’s 13 feature films and two short-length films will be presented.


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    The world renowned opera diva, mezzo soprano Monserat Caballé has been invited to open the Ohrid Summer Festival this year.

    Director of the Ohrid Summer Toni Simonoski has already started negotiations with the opera singer’s managers in Barcelona,
    It has not been definitely decided yet that Caballé’s performance will spectacularly open the Ohrid Summer because the Directorate is still expecting a reply for Barcelona.


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