Friday, April 24, 2009



Macedonia’s Vice Premier Ivica Bocevski showed off his singing skills on the most popular Bulgarian music talent contest during his official visit to the neighboring country.
Accompanied by his Bulgarian counterpart, Gergana Hristova Grancharova, Bocevski was a special guest on the Music Idol show, the Bulgarian version of the hit British television show Pop Idol.

Starting from this year, the show also airs on Macedonia's national channel A1 TV, with two contestants from Macedonia competing in the finals for the best singer award.

At a lunch with the competitors on Wednesday, Bocevski, who is in charge of European affairs, joined the two Macedonians, Aleksandar Tarabunov and Boban Stojkov, in singing the folk song Parahodot, which is popular in both countries.

“The language of diplomacy is best when spoken trough music,” Bocevski stated, adding that the record breaking ratings of the show in both countries is a good example of how the two neighboring nations should nourish their good relations.

Despite its popularity, the show sparked controversy in Macedonia as some suspect it has an hidden agenda to portray the country as part of a greater Bulgaria. Despite the international character of the show, they ask why only Macedonia is included alongside the host country.

Officially, Sofia was among the first to recognise the existence of Macedonia as a state in the early 1990s but has failed to recognise the Macedonian nation or language as separate from Bulgarian. This has cast a shadow on the otherwise good relations between the two nations.


Bookmark and Share



US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has reiterated that the United States support the efforts in finding a compromise settlement to the Athens-Skopje name row, media report.

"Washington strongly supports efforts in finding a mutually acceptable solution", stressed Clinton at Wednesday's hearing of the Congressional Committee on Foreign Affairs.

She added, "USA understand Greece sensitivity", announcing the dispute between the two Balkan neighbors "will be discussed with NATO and EU partners".

"We must encourage both sides to reach an acceptable solution", underlined Clinton.


Bookmark and Share



Macedonia has real chances to get a date for opening the EU entry talks and free visa regime, as the country is a leader of the region in meeting the criteria to that effect, EU Enlargement Commissioner Olli Rehn said Wednesday after a meeting with Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki.

It's not known whether the EU will invent another problem or 'benchmark' as Brussels likes to say, to keep the visa wall up despite the fact that Macedonians had travelled worldwide without visas until 1991.

Rehn on his part, once again extended congratulations to Macedonia on the successful elections, pointing out that the long-expected compromise to the name dispute with Greece should be reached this year, especially after the fortifying of the Government's political mandate as a result of the latest elections.

The name row settlement will be beneficial for all, Rehn said, calling for resumption of negotiations under the UN mediation.

Macedonia should also continue to work on meeting the 'benchmarks', in particular the combat against corruption, public administration and judiciary reforms, Rehn said.

Macedonia's successful elections have demonstrated its political capacity to resume the EU-integration process, Milososki said.

- The country's next step and priority is to acquire the European Commission (EC) recommendation for launching the EU accession talks and free visa regime, which will send a positive signal to all Western Balkan countries, Milososki said.

If educators Kiril and Metodij needed no visas to travel across Central Europe in the medieval period and educate people, I believe that today the citizens of Macedonia deserve to be able to do the same, Milososki said, adding that after the elections the Government would double its efforts to fulfil the (EC) benchmarks.

I believe that the Republic of Macedonia has institutional, political capacity to enter the ambitious process of accession negotiations, Milososki said.

Referring to the name row, Milososki said Macedonia was urging for a compromise, fair solution, acceptable for the two parties, as well as for full respect of the 1995 Interim Accord, which bans any hindering of Macedonia's integration processes under the interim reference.

Bilateral issues should not been considered as a criterion for the EU membership, Milososki said. In this respect he mentioned London-Madrid dispute over Gibraltar, which did not motivated Britain to veto Spain's accession to the EU, NATO.


Bookmark and Share

Thursday, April 23, 2009



A MISS Universe Australia finalist who weighs just 49kg has been branded underweight, unhealthy and too bony to be beautiful. Model Stephanie Naumoska, 19 and 180cm, was one of 32 girls to make the final, which promotes "healthy, proportioned, bodies". But Naumoska's gaunt appearance at a preview parade left onlookers and nutritionists aghast.

"Contestants who had been eliminated said she clearly shouldn't have made the final because she is just too bony," one said. Australian Medical Association president Dr Rosanna Capolingua said Naumoska's body mass index, which dietician Melanie McGrice said was 15.1, was stark.

"The most unhealthy part about it, though, is the image it is showing other young women who may view this as normal, when clearly it is not," Dr Capolingua said. Naumoska was knocked out in the swimsuit section on Wednesday night. The Miss Universe Australia winner was Rachael Finch, 21, a former Townsville model and actress. Ms Finch, who now lives in Alexandria, Sydney, works for Platinum Television, a company that provides video contents for bars and events, and is an ambassador for the Heart Foundation, the event organisers said.

Pageant director Deborah Miller reacted sharply to the idea that Naumoska, also of Sydney, looked unhealthy.

"This girl has Macedonian heritage and if you had been there you would know it is a Macedonian body type," she said. "They have long, lithe bodies and small bones. It is their body type. So she does not have an eating disorder."

But nutritionist Susie Burrell said there was no such Macedonian body type.

"There is no evidence published anywhere to back up that assertion," she said. Naumoska's agency website lists her as 180cm and 49kg. Ms McGrice said: "The World Health Authority rates people with a BMI of less than 18 as malnourished.

"She would be categorised as underweight and I would . . . want to be doing an assessment of her diet to make sure she doesn't have some type of eating disorder." "There does appear to be significant muscle wasting on the upper arm and legs, and individuals with a healthy BMI do not have such protruding bones." Dr Capolingua said the pageant should impose BMI cut-offs, using only models with a BMI above 20. She said while she was disappointed at Naumoska's inclusion in Miss Universe Australia, she did not want it closed.

"Pageants should be leading the way to improve society's view of what is an attractive BMI."

MD: She is a gorgeous girl, if she wasnt all that skinny. That's really unhealthy! Macedonian bodytype?? What a BS. Macedonian bodytype is probably the exact opposite of what she is.


Bookmark and Share



Darko Pancev is the only player from the Balkans to be invited to participate on a Canadian tour as part of the Zinadine Zidane's project to make football more popular in Canada.

There will be several matches played in Toronto and Vancouver probably vs Toronto FC and the Vancouver Whitecaps. The tourney will last from June 22 to July 5th. Zidane's group had insisted that Darko Pancev be part of the very prestigious group of football players, including Paolo Maldini, Franco Barezi, Pavel Nedved, Christian Vieri, Ronaldo etc.
Hopefully Pancev will answer positively to this invitation so the large Macedonian community in Canada can see him play.

Who is Darko Pancev?

Perhaps the fact the Zidane insisted Darko Pancev be part of this tournament, says it all. Voted best Macedonian football player of the century in 2000, Darko had started his career at Skopje based FC Vardar at the age of 17. His world stardom came when he transferred to Red Star Belgrade. Red Star won the Champions League and later the Intercontinental Cup (world champs). Upon the Yugoslavian break up, Pancev moved to Inter Milan and later to Fortuna Dusseldorf, at the end ending his club career at Sion.

In 2006, Pancev received his European Golden Boot, an award given out by French sports magazine L'Equipe. Darko received his award after 15 years of wait when UEFA finally admitted that Cyprus had fixed matches/scoring sprees to allow one of their players claim the golden boot.

Perhaps Pancev is probably best remembered by the Greek Government, who in 1991 refused to let him enter Greece as part of the Red Star football team because he was Macedonian. UEFA intervened and Darko was allowed to enter.
Pancev's gift to the Greek Government and Olympiacos were two incredible goals.

MD: That's cool news for the Macedonians living in Canada!


Bookmark and Share



The European Union is a fair organization, said Wednesday Netherlands ambassador to Macedonia, Simone Filippini when asked about the country's chances to obtain visa liberalization in 2009.

The Dutch ambassador stressed that Schengen zone member-states have strict regulations regarding visa liberalization, because if they agree on a visa-free regime for Macedonia, the decision would affect all of them.

"EU has prepared a report on Macedonia. It was very positive, although there are some remarks regarding implementation. The visa liberalization report will be presented in mid-May.

Depending on the European Commission report on Macedonia's progress, the EU members will hold ministers' talks. Pertaining to the Netherlands, if Macedonia meets criteria, it must obtain the visa liberalization", underlined Dutch ambassador Filippini after a press conference regarding Netherlands national holiday - Queen's Day.


Bookmark and Share

Tuesday, April 14, 2009



The magnificent ad by film director Milco Mancevski as shown on CNN finally places Macedonia as an equal among the many other great ads for top tourist destinations, says one of the most renowned tourist guides "Bradt" about the promotional video "Macedonia Timeless".

Bradt author Thammy Evans, Senka-Film production reports, focuses on Mancevski's ad about Macedonia in the latest, third edition of the guidebook. Reminiscing about his previous films "Before the Rain" (1995) and "Dust" (2001), the author says that "Mancevski has also employed his eye for cinematography, colour, movement and sound, towards promoting Macedonia as the culturally rich destination that it is, without all the usual overblown hype that is hard for most foreigners to swallow".

- To see his magnificent ad as shown on CNN, which finally places Macedonia as an equal among the many other great ads for top tourist destinations, go to The website provides hundreds of links in a simple format to help you find out about, and get about, the country, informs Thammy Evans.

Senka-Film notes that the recognition from Bradt is amongst the numerous accolades involving the ad from viewers all around the globe. - It is being shown on dozens of international stations, including CNN and the new 15-second version is aired too as of recently. In addition, on the Internet (Youtube) and its web site the ad has been seen by over a half of million viewers. Thus the Macedonia Timeless ad is the most watched cultural products from Macedonia in general, after "Before the Rain", says Senka-Film in a press release.


Bookmark and Share



Trifun Kostovski officially stopped being the mayor of Skopje. Today at noon, in a small ceremony, he welcomed the new mayor, Koce Trajanovski, who with 112.331 votes defeated his rival Tito Petkovski.

Trifun Kostovski appeared a little bit bitter, despite the fact he was elected mayor because he ran under the VMRO-DPMNE umbrella, only to declare himself an 'independent' weeks after he won.

In a farewell speech, Mr. Kostovski suggested to the new mayor: "Don't forget that you are not here forever, you will leave just like I am leaving now".


Bookmark and Share



ritish member of EU Parliament Nirj Deva today spoke to Macedonian media about the so called 'name dispute' with Greece. According to him, Greece is becoming increasingly isolated in the EU to a point that no MEP's take the Greek MEP's seriously.

"With great level of certainty, I can say that Greece does not have a big lobby in the EU. The Greeks themselves are seeing that we are openly laughing in their faces at how absurd their demands and comments are regarding Macedonia. Their immature responses coming from a mature administration does not bode well for the regional and global security" says Nirj Deva, MEP.

"The Macedonian army is presently in Afghanistan, we appreciate their contribution in the fight against terrorism and illicit drugs and this is why we believe Greece's response to be immature", added Deva.

Strong rhetoric from Karamanlis

Earlier today, Greek PM while visiting Pella, issued a strong statement that Macedonia must change its name if it wishes to join Euro-Atlantic organizations. Karamanlis' party ND has seen a dip in recent polls and is destined to lose the next elections. According to Greek Media, Karamanlis has said he would step down as the head of ND and may retire if his party loses the upcoming elections.

Meanwhile, Greece's stance has been severely damaged by the U.S. Administration. The U.S. was Athens' last hope that some of the big powers may change their mind and side with Greece. President Obama's speech at the NATO Summit confirmed the U.S. policy will not change, as expected.

Cards are Open

Athens for the first time, have officially admitted their aim is to completely wipe out the term "Macedonian". The name of the country had only been a starting point. Greek FM Bakoyannis in a letter to her Macedonian counterpart, revealed that the "name" game had been started to erase the nationality of the Macedonians, which will be replaced with a geographical term.

One of MiNas political analysts says the Macedonian Government has no intention to backtrack at all with Greece, because if it does, Albania will use their NATO membership to seek cultural and or territorial autonomy from Macedonia (Serbia, Montenegro). The same source says the name dispute will not be solved for years to come.

“Presently Athens is pushing for things, led by their belief the Macedonian Government will crack because of their desire to quickly enter the EU and NATO. For these purposes Athens is using several Macedonian politicians to achieve their dirty goals. When Athens realizes their aims are not achievable and or their proxies inside Macedonia are too weak or defeated, they will simply give up. Macedonia should not be in a hurry to enter any organization,” says our analyst while giving kudos to the Government for their lawsuit at the Hague which will bring further spotlight and international attention.

It also suggests Macedonia to increase its lobbying in the EU and continue to nourish great bilateral ties with the U.S.A, Italy, Russia, Turkey and the United Kingdom.


Bookmark and Share

Wednesday, April 08, 2009



Macedonian voters elected Professor Gjorge Ivanov as their fourth president since the country declared independence in 1991. Supported by the ruling VRMO-DPMNE-led coalition, Ivanov won 437,470 votes, while SDSM candidate and fellow professor Ljubomir Frckovski -- ironically, a former co-author of Ivanov's -- took 252,195 votes, with nearly 97% of the ballots counted.

The first unofficial results for local elections showed the VMRO-DPMNE winning 31 mayoralties in the runoff (on top of 24 in the first round). The SDSM and two independent candidates it supported won nine, while the Democratic Union for Integration (DUI) emerged with eight. The opposition Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) won the key city of Tetovo.

The VMRO-DPMNE took the mayoralty of the capital, Skopje. Huge electoral battles raged in several major cities like Ohrid, Centar, Resen and Struga, where new mayors' victory margins amounted to mere dozens of votes.

In his victory speech, Ivanov said his main priorities are NATO and EU integration and resolution of the "name issue with Greece", as quoted by Reuters.

The strong support for the VMRO-DPMNE "feels not like a victory but rather like the [creation of an] obligation towards all citizens", said party leader and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, who thanked outgoing President Branko Crvenkovski for co-operation "despite our disagreements". The VMRO-DPMNE congratulated voters for participating in fair, democratic and peaceful elections and emphasised they were crucial to NATO and EU integration.

Frckovski also congratulated the winners, while SDSM leader Zoran Zaev emphasised the VMRO-DPMNE now has absolute power but also absolute responsibility. The SDSM initially echoed the VMRO-DPMNE in praising the conduct of the elections. However, later in the night, it raised allegations of unfairness: electoral-list problems, intimidation and inappropriate use of UV lamps meant to prevent citizens from voting twice.

The 43% voter turnout is the lowest in Macedonia's history of presidential runoffs. International monitors from the OSCE/ODIHR expressed initial satisfaction with the calm elections but were still awaiting full reports from teams throughout the country.

One noticeable characteristic of the runoff was low turnout in Albanian-dominated areas, with relatively few voters making a presidential choice. An official of the DUI -- the ethnic-Albanian party within the ruling coalition -- said the party supported Ivanov but the decision lay with the voters.

Some experts said the absence of support by ethnic Albanians will be a serious handicap for Ivanov.


Bookmark and Share



The Skopje court Monday afternoon sentenced the former Macedonian Vice Premier and former leader of the Democratic Alternative party, Vasil Tupurkovski to three years in prison for embezzlement.
In the infamous "Taiwan Loans" case, Tupurkovski and one other person were charged for the misuse of funds. The money is question were loans approved by Taiwanese Government back in 1999 when Tupurkovski was head of the state Agency for Development and Renewal, and in-charge for managing these funds.

The Criminal Court ruled that Tupurkovski and Jovan Andonov, his former aid in the agency, signed harmful loan contracts with several companies worth over 15 million Euros. Andonov received a two years' prison sentence, and the Court ordered Tupurkovski and Andonov to pay back approximately 2.5 million euros.

During the whole process, Tupurkovski claimed his innocence, while his lawyer said he would appeal the verdict.

As head of the Democratic Alternative, Tupurkovski served in the 1999-2000 government led by Ljubco Georgievski’s right from centre VMRO DPMNE party as Deputy Prime Minister, Minister for European Integration and National Coordinator for Foreign Aid.

During that period Macedonia recognized Taiwan based on Tupurkovski’s insistence, angering China over it. In return Taiwan promised a large investment plan in the country but only a small portion of the money arrived.

In December 2000, Tupurkovski left the government complaining that his projects for Taiwanese investments were being undermined by VMRO DPMNE.

Georgievski gave testimony before the courts in favour of Tupurkovski, claiming that the government gave verbal permission to disperse the funds.


Bookmark and Share



In the second round of local elections held on April 5, VMRO-DPMNE won mayoral seats in 30 municipalities plus the City of Skopje, DUI got 7, SDSM 3, whereas DPA, Roma Alliance and an independent candidate got one each.

In the repeated first round, seven mayors were also elected - 2 from VMRO-DPMNE, 2 from DUI, 2 independent candidates and one from the Radical Party of Serbs, whereas mayors in 2 municipalities will be decided in the second round.

In the first round held on March 22, VMRO-DPMNE won in 25 municipalities, while SDSM and DUI in 4 each.

Citizens voted for mayors and municipal councillors in 84 municipalities and the City of Skopje.


Bookmark and Share



“The MOI has added you as a friend on Facebook. We need to confirm that you know the MOI in order for you to be friends.” Macedonian journalists now routinely receive such friend requests on the social networking website “Facebook”.
The Ministry of the Interior, MOI, opened its own Facebook profile two weeks ago in order to promote informal communication with citizens. Ministry officials have denied that the object is to abuse personal data which becomes available when an individual elects to become a friend on Facebook, local media report.

The MOI initiative does not constitute a violation of the Law on personal data protection according to the Directorate for Personal Data Protection.

The MOI insists that this is an informal profile which is not intended to monitor the activities of, for example, journalists.

Some journalists are not so sure.

“I can accept a friend request from a person who has a name and surname, but this is not the case when the friend request is coming from the Ministry of the Interior as an institution. My data and activities are visible to all of my friends, this is not secret, but still, this information belongs only to me. How could I be sure that an institution would not abuse this data?” one journalist who has declined an MOI friend request told Utrinski vesnik daily.

However, the MOI argues that it simply wants to promote informal communication, and the Facebook profile is only used as an additional form of contact between police and citizens.

“If anyone believes that the data could be abused, he can simply ignore the friend request,” said MOI Deputy Minister for Public Relations Ivo Kotevski “This is an informal activity, and we do not intend to monitor people’s activities online”

The MOI’s Facebook profile, which has now been active for several weeks, already has more than 300 friends, most of whom are journalists working on issues related to the police.

The profile is public and open to everybody, so anyone can post, whether he or she is a “friend” of the MOI or not. The page features photographs, for example, that are not available on the Ministry’s official website (

This is because the website is official but the Facebook profile is informal, an MOI official said. “People respond much better to informal methods of communication.”

After reviewing the MOI’s Facebook profile, representatives of the Directorate for Personal Data Protection said there is no violation of personal data.

“It is not legally determined whether state institutions can use these portals as their own PR. Citizens decide independently whether they should accept online friendship with the MOI or not,” a statement from the Directorate said. “Before clicking and accepting, people should be aware that the MOI will have access to their data, posts, blogs, their friend lists and all their other activities on Facebook. This is a method which the MOI chose to communicate with the public and we cannot control this.”

The Directorate advises users always to check their profiles’ privacy settings, and make their activities visible only to a select group of people.


Bookmark and Share

February 27 2010:


    MD Shoutbox


    MD Partners

      Explore Macedonia! Click to watch.

      advanced web statistics

    Macedonia Daily is powered by Blogger.
    Macedonia Daily |
    © 2006-2010 All Rights Reserved.