Friday, April 30, 2010



Representatives of the United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) have met with about 100 US congressmen regarding Resolution 486, which was submitted in the House of Representatives in 2009, where Macedonia is accused of hostile propaganda towards Greece.

UMD representatives hope for support against the resolution's adoption, saying such lobbying would be enhanced in the future.

"We lobby against the resolution's adoption, but also for increase of funds donated to Macedonia in fields of economy, education, health", UMD president Meto Koloski told Voice of America in Macedonian language.

The diaspora reiterated its position against the change of name Republic of Macedonia.

"Taking into consideration that larger and smaller communities are close to certain congressmen who represent their interests, it is absolutely necessary that we also have such people who will support the Macedonian diaspora or at least be aware of our positions and understand them", said Boban Jovanovski, UMD director for US operations.


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A large quantity of weapons, including machine-guns, manual missile launchers, anti-tank mines, explosives, detonators..., have been discovered and seized during an operation conducted by the police early this morning in the vicinity of Blace village. A shootout began after the people guarding the weapons opened fire on the police officers.

The attackers fled after the shootout, in which none of the police officers were injured.

Interior Ministry spokesman Ivo Kotevski said the police launched an operation following intelligence reports on stored weapons several kilometers northeast of Blace village. He said that a significant amount of stored weapons was seized.

Other items that were discovered and seized include uniforms, bulletproof vests, communications equipment and ammunition.

The site is currently being investigated. As soon as the procedure is completed, the weapons will be handed over for forensic analyses.


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Wednesday, April 28, 2010



The crash of President Boris Trajkovski's plane was no accident, but murder, claims Swiss member of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), Andreas Gross.

During Tuesday's debate in Strasbourg, Gross criticized the comparison made by several MPs of the recent plane crash of Polish President Lech Kaczynski with the ones of the Macedonian President in 2004 and UN Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjöld in 1961.

According to Gross, the parallel is unfortunate, since the comparison ends with the fact that the planes crashed on all occasions, reports Deutsche Welle.

"The crashes of Hammarskjöld and Trajkovski's planes were no accidents. They were murders", stressed Gross.

According to him, the blame for Trajkovski's death "should be sought in the West, not in the East".

Macedonian MP Igor Ivanovski challenged these claims, referring to Gross' report, in which he concluded the crash was an accident, although a number of issues remain open and unanswered.

MD: Big accusation here. Many people in Macedonia suspected that it was murder instead of a incident after president Trajkovski died, but nothing has been proved and nobody dares to touch that subject. Some things surrounding his death were indeed fishy, but who knows? Time will tell...


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Copenhagen's Noma, which showcases the work of a young Macedonian-born Danish chef, edged out the top two eateries to win the award for world's best restaurant, the World Street Journal said.

René Redzepi, 32, chef at the two Michelin star-rated Noma on Copenhagen's docks, brought seven of his top eight staff to celebrate winning first place in the S. Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant awards.

Redzepi claims he doesn't use olive oil, tomatoes or nonseasonal garlic, as all of staff's produce is from Denmark and the neighboring Nordic countries. He has championed such obscure ingredients as 45-year-old horse mussels from the Faroe Islands, monkfish livers and wild beach roses.

"I love this award and am so happy about what it can do for our country and our products,“ the World Street Journal quotes the 32-year-old chef saying.

Redzepi, who is half Dannish, half Macedonian, was the insider's favorite to knock both Ferran Adrià's El Bulli and Heston Blumenthal's Fat Duck from their culinary perch, where they have exchanged the top two positions for the past six years.

The list was announced at a chef-studded ceremony at Guildhall, in London's financial district.


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Macedonia and Qatar signed Tuesday an agreement for regular air traffic between the two countries, said the Civil Aviation Agency in a press release.

The agreement creates conditions for one of the leading global airlines "Qatar Air" to operate with its flights to Macedonia.

Directors of the countries' civil aviation agencies Zoran Krstevski and Ibrahim Abdul signed the agreement in Qatar's capital Doha, reads the press release.


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Wednesday marks the ninth anniversary from the massacre of eight Macedonian veterans near Tetovo village Vejce.

In an attack on April 28, 2001 eight members of the Macedonian Army (ARM) and police units "Wolves" and "Tigers" were killed.

ARM "Wolves" Robert Petkovski, Boban Trajkovski, Igor Kosteski, Mile Janevski, as well as police "Tigers" Marjan Bozinovski, Kire Kostadinovski, Bosko Najdovski and Ilce Stojanovski were massacred in the attack.


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Monday, April 26, 2010



The World Macedonian Congress, Alliance of Muslim Macedonians, Ancient Macedonians Alliance as well as hundreds of other Macedonians were prevented from entering Bulgaria earlier today.

The trip was organized to pay respect to famous Macedonian revolutionary Jane Sandanski at the Rozen Monastery who today marked 95th anniversary of his death.

The Zlatarevo border crossing was beefed up by Bulgarian police who were expecting a wave of Macedonian tourists for Sandanski's anniversary.

Despite the 'no visa' policy, not a single Macedonian was allowed entry, even the ones who were not going to Sandanski's anniversary. The Bulgarian police and customs officials cited "no health insurance" as the reason for not allowing the Macedonians an entry. When their demands defied logic, Bulgarian police changed to "no invitation" as the reason for not allowing entry.

Head of the World Macedonian Congress, Todor Petrov said this is not new, Bulgarian Government's discrimination towards Macedonians is rampant and this surely was a great example of it.


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Southeast European countries will cooperate more intensively and promote the mutual cultural heritage in the future, along with collaboration on the implementation of EU programs, agreed ministers at the UNESCO conference on SEE cultural heritage, held in Cetinje (Montenegro) this weekend.

Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska underlined Macedonia’s excellent cooperation with UNESCO, as well as the projects supported by this organization.
The conference included culture ministers from Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, Albania, Bosnia&Herzegovina and Slovenia.


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Sunday, April 25, 2010



Greek Tour Operators have sent a demand to their Serbian counterparts that they are only allowed to sell trips to Greece, if they are not offering trips to Ohrid anymore.

Macedonian tour operators are surprised by all this, claiming they were not aware Ohrid has become a 'threat' to Greek tourism. But, it is precisely how Greek tourist operators view the pearl of the Balkans.

Recently there have been numerous write-ups on Ohrid in French, Italian and Dutch newspapers presenting the Macedonian city as a holiday destination. Also, as we all know, Greece is in a very bad financial position, they can use every income they can get, if that means pressuring regional countries and the Serbians, who they see as good 'friends', then they will. Serbians are seen as good tourists, everywhere they go, they spend a lot of money on holidays, so they want them to spend in Greece instead.

One thing remains sure, whoever wants to visit Ohrid will certainly do so, whether Macedonian, Serbian or Greek Tour Operators present it in their brochures or not.


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Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski visited Skopje Zoo yesterday to introduce with its reconstruction, taking into consideration the fact that the government provided funds amounting to Denar 42 million two years ago.

"What I have seen is very impressive. A huge progress was made in the past several months. Zoo garden receives another dimension. The zoo’s ambitions is becoming one of the best zoo gardens in South East Europe for one to two years, which will attract visitors not only from Skopje and Macedonia but from the neighbouring countries," Gruevski said.

Zoo director Dane Kuzmanovski said that the zoo was built in 1926 covering an area of 12 hectares. Over 30 new animals of seven new species were brought and 18 new living areas are built and 85% of the current ones are renovated. At the moment there are 500 animals of 40 species and education centre and botanical garden are established.

Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski said that the Skopje city will finance two new area for the elephant and the giraffe. At the next meeting of the coordination body also other mayors of Skopje’s municipality will be asked to donate animal and space for them because this zoo does not belong to Skopje but to all municipalities.

PM Gruevski commended the work of the City of Skopje not only in the reconstruction of the Zoo but also in other projects, which will make Skopje new more beautiful appearance.

He also added that the city and other government’s institutions are working together on several concessions for construction of new modern amusement park, whereat consultant will be engaged to make study aimed at attracting concessionaire to come to Skopje for construction of underground passage and trolley car.

MD: Nice! It was time the ZOO would be reconstructed, because it looked miserable and it was really a disgrace and misery for the animals. Btw, did you know Skopje ZOO was the first ZOO on the Balkans?


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Friday, April 23, 2010



At a meeting with the Ambassador of Macedonia to the Holy See on Thursday, the Holy Father expressed "great respect and consideration" for the cultural and spiritual heritage of the country. He also said he hopes that Macedonians will carry forward their principles to confront the relativistic and secular aspects of European society.

On the occasion of the presentation of new ambassador Gjoko Gjorgjevski's credentials to the Holy See, the Pope recognized the significant history of the country and hoped for its continued cultural and spiritual strength.

The Holy Father called the human and Christian values "incarnated" in the lives of Macedonians the "priceless spiritual and cultural heritage of the nation," noting the Holy See's "great respect and consideration" for this heritage.

He added that by standing firm in their spiritual identity, Macedonians "will be able to offer European peoples the contribution of their own experience."

Pope Benedict then wished success for Macedonia's efforts to join the EU, "while accepting the relative rights and duties, and with reciprocal respect for the collective demands and traditional values of each people."

This will ensure their commitment to peace, he said, which is "not just the fruit of human plans and activities, but is above all a gift of God to men and women of good will," who are sustained by justice and forgiveness.

Turning to the issue of an increasingly secular Europe, the Pope said, "My hope is that, in a general context of moral relativism and scant interest in religious experience affecting a part of European society," the Macedonian people "may exercise wise discernment in opening new horizons of authentic civility and true humanism.”

To do so, he concluded, it is important that they "seek to strengthen and maintain the principles that lie at the roots of this people's civilization, at both the individual and community level" including "dedication to the family, defense of human life and the promotion of religious needs especially among the young."

This year marks the 15th anniversary of diplomatic relations between Macedonia and the Holy See.


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Komercijalna Banka branch at "Partizanski Odredi" boulevard in Skopje has been robbed early Friday at 07:45h.

According to the Ministry of Interior, two armed men robbed a certain amount of money holding the employees at gunpoint.

The bank robbers are at large and police are tracking them down.

This is the second robbery of this branch and third of Komercijalna Banka in the past 30 days.


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Wednesday, April 21, 2010



While Inter was beating Barcelona, even better news out of Milan, Italy. Pandev's wife Nadica gave birth to a healthy baby boy.

Celebrations followed in Milan and Strumica. A larger group of Macedonians was already in Milan to watch Inter - Barcelona, including Pandev's former coach Ilija Matenicarov. The parents of both Goran and Nadica arrived quickly in Italy to celebrate the event.

The happy couple has already announced the name of the baby: Filipo, the italian version of Phillip.


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The territory of Macedonia is not affected by the cloud of volcanic ash anymore, Macedonia's Hydrometeorological Institute has informed Wednesday.

The volcanic ash, which passed over Macedonia early this morning, had low density and thus posed no threat.

Air traffic at Skopje's Alexander the Great airport is taking place without any obstacles. All scheduled takeoffs and landings are being realised, airport's service informs.

No flights are scheduled today at the Ohrid-based "St. Paul The Apostle" airport.


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Tuesday, April 20, 2010



London’s prestigious “Guardian” has published a video story about the Skopje Old Bazaar. The video has been permeated with white and black shootings of the Old Bazaar so one can see young women clad in old urban costumes, men in old-dated suits, and the bazaar is described as a traditional trades centre.

The five-minute video, “The Art of Macedonia” features blacksmiths, carpenters, tinsmiths, and their usual statements are “I have inherited this trade from my father, and my son is now to inherit it.”

MD: Check it out at the link below!

  • [The Art of Macedonia]

  • []

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    Some ten British fashion giants are looking for business partners in Macedonia. The possibility of producing their collections in Stip-based factories has become reality, think businessmen from Stip.

    After Germany, England is the second biggest clothing market in Europe. Britons are considered to be very picky partners and therefore, negotiations with them have to be approached very carefully, experts say.

    Britons chose Stip because there are 80 textile factories with more than 7,000 employees and before the crisis Stip-based textile factories accounted for export of more than USD 500 million or 12 percent of the GDP. Moreover, Britons think that Stip-based factories have good transportation logistics.


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    "We have lost the naming game before it started. Open any book anywhere that was published before 1990. Yugoslavia was made up of Six Republics: Croatia, Slovenia, Serbia, Bosnia, Montenegro and Macedonia with Skopje as its capital." says Fintanidis, former owner of Greek daily Eleftherotypia in an interview with DW.

    "We seem to forget easily, or we don't wish to remember... Greece was playing Yugoslavia in Skopje as part of football qualifications. Greece lost 4-1. No one, not our fans, or players reacted that we played in "Macedonia", nor did the name bother us," says Fintanidis.

    "Where did this 'outrage' appeared from regarding Macedonia? We have foreign nations whether we'd like to admit it or not, who are laughing at us" added Fintanidis in his interview for DW.

    According to him, Athens, but also Skopje needs to learn from their mistakes. He also says Greece would prefer their neighbor be called North Macedonia, but admits it'd be a tough sell even though Skopje is interested in finding a solution.


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    Most prominent Macedonian director Milcho Manchevski films’ world tours are continuing. Macedonian film classics “Before the Rain” has been released on DVD in Brazil, one of the countries where the film saw record visits when it was shot 15 years ago. “Before the Rain” opened in Brazil after it won an award at Sao Paolo Film Festival in 1994, one in a series of awards following the winning of Golden Lion at 1994 Venice. Since spring 1995 the film was a part of the regular movie theatre programme throughout the country for a whole year.

    Manchevski’s latest film, “The Shadows,” will be opening on Public TV Service in Germany on 23rd May. This comes after the premiere of “The Shadows” at Arte, the most prestigious cultural TV channel in Europe, last year. "The Shadows” opened at Toronto Festival three years ago and its opening in a dozen of festivals has followed. Since then, it has been included in the regular programmes of movie theatres in Mexico, United States, India, Hungary, Romania, Turkey, South Korea, Greece and in most of Europe, the Balkans and South America.


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    Spanish Foreign Minister Miguel Angel Moratinos paid an official visit to Macedonia on tuesday.

    In addition to talks with host Antonio Milososki, FM Moratinos, whose country currently holds the EU Presidency, met President Gjorge Ivanov, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, Vice Premier for European Affairs Vasko Naumovski and MPs.

    Meetings focused on Macedonia's Euro-integration progress, as well as prospects for start of EU accession talks.


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    Some 40 people suspected of corruption, including at least 17 medical doctors as well as employees of the State Pension Fund, were arrested on Monday morning in the so-called 'Metastasis' operation, police have confirmed.
    Those arrested have been charged with taking bribes and abuse of office while issuing disability pension certificates for state pensions. The police are still searching offices and homes of the suspects for evidence.

    Police spokesman Ivo Kotevski said that they have registered at least 50 cases of abuse and that almost certainly there will be more after the ongoing investigation is completed.

    The detained, many of them reportedly still wearing their white coats, are currently being brought before an investigative judge in Skopje where they are to give their statements. The judge is expected to determine whether they should remain in custody.


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    Monday, April 19, 2010



    CNN reporter Nic Robertson and his CNN tv crew were stuck in Skopje at the Alexander the Great Airport yesterday. After staying a week in Macedonia, for filming a documentary about Macedonia and Mother Theresa, they couldnt leave for Brussels, for their next filmings.

    Alexander the Great aiport was not closed, but because of danger of the ash clouds from Iceland above Europe, there are no European flights from or to Skopje. Because of that the CNN crew rented a car and went driving to Brussels.

    Yesterday, Robertson was live on the air on CNN when he was sitting at the Macedonian-Serbian border, reporting that there are no flights from Skopje and they had to rent a car. Robertson has been in Macedonia since April 10 until yesterday. Together with his crew they filmed a documentary about Macedonia and Mother Theresa as a part of the i-List series. Part of the documentary was filmed at the house of Mother Theresa and several citizens were interviewed, including Prime Minister Gruevski.

    Every month there is a new country which will be documented. The reports are focusing on economics, culture and innovations. The series will air in May.


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    More than 70 film titles, many of them awarded or presented in world festivals, will be shown at the 13th Skopje Film Festival opening on 21st April through 29th April. The festival is opening on Wednesday at the Millennium Cinema with Spanish Carlos Saura’s “Io, Don Giovanni.”

    The main programme includes eight more films shot last year: “Antichrist” by Lars von Trier, “Life during Wartime” by Todd Solondz, “A Serious Man” by Ethan and Joel Coen, “Limits of Control” by Jim Jarmusch, “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans” by Werner Herzog, “Brothers” by Jim Sheridan, “Baaria” by Giuseppe Tornatore, and “The Dust of Time” by Theodoros Angelopoulos


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    Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski visited the flooded area, Tetovo's Raotince village on Sunday, where in the past couple of days the river Vardar spilled out of its banks, inundating about 30 houses and 200 hectares of cultivable soil along the river.

    The PM together with Agriculture Minister Ljupco Dimovski and the directors of the Crisis Management Center and the Protection and Rescue Directorate visited Raotince residents to oversee the situation and determine whether the Government is able to provide assistance.

    After meeting with residents, Gruevski said yesterday was the most critical day, adding that the water has receded.

    - This is not happening for the first time. Inundations have emerged before. Evidently, this region is critical and a long-term solution must be found, PM Gruevski stated.

    He vowed to review the project envisaging overhaul and arrangement of the Vardar river bank 7 kilometers lengthwise.

    The village of Raotnice has been facing this problem for over 30 years. A project to overhaul the river bank has been made back in 1974 and it was renewed in 2005, but it remains unfinished.

    The situation in Raotnice today is back to normal, the water has receded into the river bank.


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    Sunday, April 18, 2010



    A cloud of volcanic ash is not expected to enter the airspace of Macedonia by Monday. Therefore, closing of Macedonia's airports and its airspace is not planned at the moment, the Civil Aviation Agency says.

    The airspace over Macedonia and the airports in Skopje and Ohird for prevention were closed this morning. Regular flights are being carried out at the moment.

    Europe faces further air chaos as the volcanic ash from Iceland is spreading further south.

    All flights to the Skopje airport were cancelled today, except the flight from Istanbul. Currently in Europe, only the airspace in Macedonia, Albania, Turkey, Greece, Cyprus, Malta, south Spain and south Italy is open.


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    Saturday, April 17, 2010



    Macedonia will purchase 202 double decker buses from China's largest bus maker Zhengzhou Yutong Group for 35 million euros ($A50.86 million) in a first such cooperation between the two countries, officials said on Wednesday.

    Macedonia's Transport Minister Mile Janakievski told reporters that 68 buses would be delivered by the end of 2011, while the remaining vehicles were expected by 2013.

    "Buses will have a unique, retro design only for Skopje," Janakievski said.

    This is the first such venture between the two countries.

    Zhengzhou Yutong Group - which won the government's bid with the best offer - is one of the biggest bus makers in Asia, producing 150 vehicles per day.


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    Friday, April 16, 2010



    A well-preserved, priceless marble head of Octavius Augustus - part of a sculpture from the early Roman period - and a small torso were excavated Friday at Stobi archaeological site, which was visited by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski together with Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska and the director of the Department for Cultural Heritage Protection, Pasko Kuzman.

    According to its features, the sculpture was intended to immortalize emperors and notable citizens from the first and second century A.D. It was housed in a temple, which was robbed soon after it was demolished in the classical era.

    Minister Kanceska-Milevska said that this year's activities at 20 archaeological sites were finances with 180 million denars (3 million euros).

    - It is important that the site was turned into a national institution with employees, aiming to become a tourist attraction to promote cultural heritage, said the Minister.


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    Macedonian millionaires in most cases do not decide to invest in Macedonia. They rather keep their money in banks and in order to protect their capital they invest in real estate. Some experts think that these investors are not satisfied with the safety and influence of political structures on potential investors in Macedonia.

    Macedonian businessman Zore Temelkovski says that conditions of Macedonian investments look good only on paper. He says that investment climate in Macedonia has not been good for the past 15 years.

    Namely, those who want to invest have to become members of a political party, which is an obstacle for many investors. Therefore, many decide to protect their money by investing in foreign real estate or placing it in foreign banks.


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    European Parliament rapporteur on Macedonia Zoran Thaler urged Thursday Macedonian politicians to be pragmatic, proactive in regard to the name row with Greece. He also called for 'smart solutions to the incredible dispute'.

    - You are and will remain Macedonians even if a new, artificial name is to be invented. You are what you feel that you are. You are right and we in Brussels know that. This is a schizophrenic situation politicians should resolve. Unfortunately the one that is part of the EU is more right, Thaler said in his lecture on Macedonia's EU Integration - the Name Issue, organized within the 13. Education and Career Days.

    The name row settlement is necessary for unblocking Macedonia's EU integration process, as Skopje has been paying the price for the stalemate, Thaler said.

    Maybe politicians, who decided to participate in the name row settlement, would be labelled as traitors at the beginning, but taking into consideration Slovenia's experience with a compromise that allowed the country to join EU, such unpleasant reactions had been voiced for six months only, Thaler said.

    He praised the decision of EU Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele to take active part in settling the name dispute.

    - Your country is the door for the Western Balkan EU membership. Therefore it is good that Fuele has understood that we (EU) must help Macedonia and thus open the door for the Western Balkans, Thaler said.

    Thaler believes that Paris, Berlin should join UN mediator Matthew Nimetz's efforts in settling Macedonia-Greece name row, and along with Washington voice their positions on the matter.

    - I am trying to encourage for solutions to be embraced in faster pace, hence the attention to be focused on the stability, prosperity of the region, which needs new culture of understanding, empathy, especially from Greece - the oldest EU member from the Balkan region, Thaler said.

    Greece may play a crucial role in the Balkans, which is not the case at the moment. However, the Agenda 2014 of Greek Prime Minister George Papandreou promises brighter future, Thaler said.

    - EU should tell Greece - we express solidarity to you, but expect you to show solidarity with us, as the Balkans accession to the EU is crucial for Europe's stability, Thaler said.


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    This column's recent attempt to look at the name dispute between Greece and its northern neighbour (FYROM to the Greeks, Macedonia to the locals) became the most-commented article ever to appear on the website, reads "The Economist".

    According to the newspaper, the Greek case (crudely stated) is that Macedonia is a title properly belonging a) to ancient Macedonia and b) to the northern Greek province that bears that name. Communist Yugoslavia applied the label to its southern province as a provocation, in the aftermath of the Greek civil war. If it were to accept "Macedonia" as a name for the former Yugoslav republic, Greece would legitimise that communist name-grab and lay itself open to territorial claims, or even terrorism. It stubbornly refuses to allow its northern neighbour’'s application for European Union and NATO membership to proceed until it budges on the name issue.

    Assume Greece's argument is right. Would it matter? The globe is studded with ancient, buried hatchets involving names and places (which came first: Bretagne or Grande-Bretagne? Who cares?) Logically preposterous toponyms are the rule, not intolerable exceptions. So set aside that argument, unless you are trying to drum up business for map publishers.

    Nor does the argument about dangerous irredentism stand up. As a relatively big country, and a member of the EU and NATO, Greece can scarcely plead persecution from its small northern neighbour. The last 20 years show that expanding the EU and NATO is the best way of making troubled neighbourhoods safer. But even if there is a danger of terrorism from Skopjean extremists, how should it be contained? By including Macedonia in western clubs, prosperous and, with luck, well governed? Or by keeping it weak, divided and isolated?

    So even if the Greeks are right, the course of action looks wrong. What of the Macedonian/FYROM side? Assume its most hardline protagonists are right: that they are the heirs to an ancient civilisation, whereas Greece is an ethno-nationalist bully with fascist undertones that oppresses a Slavic minority in the north. If that's true, then the EU and others ought to be more worried than they are. But it has little bearing on the name of the northern neighbour.

    On that basis, the verdict is clear. If the Skopje authorities are right, then withholding recognition of their name is an outrage. If they are wrong, even if they are silly and provocative, it is not worth breaking eggshells to set them right. Giving them their favoured name costs less than Greece claims, and has big benefits, for everyone, in increased stability, concludes "The Economist".


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    Thursday, April 15, 2010



    Republic of Macedonia as an attractive tourism and investment destination is presented in the new tour guide intended for the Italian tourism market.

    The 300-page guide, published by "Balkania", will be provided free of charge to Italian tour-operators and travel agencies.

    Guide author Fabio Cotifava met Wednesday with Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi, who supported the project's realization.

    "Taking into consideration tourism is one of the minister's priorities, the meeting aimed at providing support to projects, such as this one, which gives the opportunity to the Italian tourism market to acquaint with Macedonia as an attractive tour and investment destination", reads Economy Ministry press release.

    The Italian tourism market shows interest for organized visits to monasteries and other cultural-historic monuments in Macedonia, as well as introduction of other content, such as cycling or hunting tourism.

    "Balkania" is an association for Balkan alternative tourism, with Macedonia, Serbia, Montenegro, Bulgaria, Albania, Greece, Kosovo, Bosnia&Herzegovina and Italy as members. It focuses on projects for promotion of the Balkans as a tourism destination.


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    Supporting Macedonia's integration into NATO and the EU remains a vital element in our efforts to promote peace and stability in the Balkan region, said Assistant Secretary for Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Gordon.

    Radio Free Europe reports Gordon took part at hearing of the US Senate Foreign Relations Subcommittee on European Affairs titled "Unfinished Business in Southeast Europe: Opportunities and Challenges in the Western Balkans".

    Hearing participants, which also included Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs, Alexander Vershbow and former US ambassador to NATO, Kurt Volker, said it was time to reach a compromise solution to the name row, assisted through trust-building measures on the part of Macedonia.


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    Food industry, pharmacy, tourism and financial services are the sectors that can enable Macedonia's penetration at the Russian market. However, its traits and needs have to be studied first, in order to find the most appropriate, secure and quality business partners, said Paul Fisher, consultant for entry at markets in Russia, China and India, while presenting experiences to Macedonian businessmen on Wednesday.

    "Before making the first step, it is necessary to study the market well and carefully select the associate company. Agreements on advanced payment should also be concluded, in order to reduce risk, with commodities delivered in stages, not all at once. In countries such as Russia, China and India it is difficult to find a solvent partner, which is why it is necessary to study one's past, operations, cooperation with other companies etc", stressed Fisher.

    According to him, each company should build its own strategy for performance at the Russian market depending on the type of industry.

    "There is no strategy valid for all companies. They need to develop their own, specific strategy based on prior analyses on the market's conditions and characteristics", added the consultant.

    Fisher suggested Macedonia should attract Russian companies that are interested in the European market.

    "Russian companies can find good locations for subsidiaries in Macedonia, through which they would control businesses within the EU, because the corporate tax rate is rather attractive and stands at 10 percent", underlined Fisher.


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    Wednesday, April 14, 2010



    Renowned CNN reporter Nic Robertson is currently in Macedonia, working on several TV stories, among which a documentary on Mother Teresa on occasion of the 100th anniversary from her birth.

    Details from Mother Teresa's native Skopje, the Old Bazaar, Millennium Cross, as well as places related to her childhood have already been recorded.

    The story uses testimonies of Mother Teresa's chronicler Stojan Trencevski, representatives of the Catholic Church, humanitarians, Skopje citizens etc.

    The CNN crew also visited Ohrid, Kavadarci, Bitola and other places, with the article scheduled to air in April or May.


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    More than 650 students will compete in several disciplines at the 13. Macedonian Students Games 2010, held in Ohrid on April 13-16.

    President Gjorge Ivanov, who declared the games open, stressed youth, energy and enthusiasm of young people could be witnessed at such sporting events.

    "It is also wonderful that the games become regional gatherings, where young people can get together, communicate and share problems. The politicians are there to bring them closer to the values practiced in Europe, through the Bologna Process", stressed President Ivanov.

    Besides students from all Macedonian state and private universities, the Ohrid games also include participants from neighboring regional countries, as well as a delegation of the European Students' Union.


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    Macedonia's Project for Real Estate Cadastre and Registration is one of the 12 winners of World Bank competition "Improving the Lives of People in Europe and Central Asia".

    The 98-percent coverage of the country's territory with cadastre registration, double increase in the number of real estate transactions, their registration in only five days, as well as 70-percent reduction of prices of cadastre services are the project's main benefits.

    "Macedonia is considered leader in the Western Balkans regarding cadastre reforms", said World Bank Country Manager Markus Repnik, assessing the project as very successful.

    Repnik emphasized the Government's leadership and institutional commitment as crucial in the implementation of envisaged reforms.

    He said country coverage with cadastre registration was 43 percent five years ago, rising to the current 98, with 100 percent to be reached by the year-end.

    "This is a confirmation that reforms pay off, and if implemented in a consistent and proper way, they yield results, so that institutions transform in 3-4 years, thus increasing their efficiency", said Vice Premier and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski.

    This year's World Bank contest included 282 projects from about 30 countries. When selecting the best, two criteria were taken into consideration - concrete results and innovation. The Macedonian project is the only winner from the Western Balkan region.

    Moreover, FinMin Stavreski announced fresh World Bank support worth EUR 9 million for further cadastre modernization.


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    Monday, April 12, 2010



    Yesterday we reported about scoring his 50th goal and leading the league together with Ovechkin, now Macedonian NHL Tampa Bay Lightning icehockey player Steven Stamkos' empty-net goal with 12.5 seconds left in Sunday's season finale with the Panthers gave the center 51 goals, tying Pittsburgh's Sidney Crosby for most in the league this season. Both will get the Rocket Richard Trophy.

    Stamkos played a season-high 26:20 in the game, including 11 minutes, 45 seconds of the third period. He scored off a Teddy Purcell pass after a Vinny Lecavalier faceoff win in the defensive zone. Purcell dumped the puck forward and Stamkos used his speed to catch up and shoot into the net with Florida's Stephen Weiss diving behind him and throwing his stick.

    "Pretty surreal to do it in my second year in the league and share it with a player like Crosby is pretty special," Stamkos said. "And to win it without a guy named Ovechkin in the mix is pretty special too. He's such a dominant scorer."

    Did Stamkos care he tied Crosby with an empty-netter?

    "No," he said. "All those posts I had against Carolina (three), it was bound to happen like that. I'll take it either way."

    MD: Wow, great achievement ! Yesterday 50, today 51 and the trophy.


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    Sunday, April 11, 2010



    Macedonian icehockey player Steven Stamkos of the Tampa Bay Lightning is the third youngest NHL player to score 50 goals in a season.

    Stamkos, the Lightning's second-year forward, hit the milestone Saturday night when he scored his second goal of the game against the Florida Panthers. Stamkos netted No. 50 with a wrist shot from the point that went between the pads of goalie Scott Clemmensen. It was his second power-play goal of the night.

    At 20 years, 2 months and 3 days, only Wayne Gretzky (19 years, 2 months) and Jimmy Carson had 50-goal seasons earlier than Stamkos -- the No. 1 overall pick in the 2008 draft.

    The goal also tied Stamkos with Washington's Alex Ovechkin for the NHL lead. Ovechkin scored his 50th on Friday night.

    MD: This is awesome! Stamkos is a truly great player. Imagine if we would have a national icehockey team and got Stamkos playing together with Ed Jovanovski and Jose Theodore :)


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    Saturday, April 10, 2010



    The state will improve the tourism offer involving lake shores by building pedestrian lanes, landscape design and installing lighting poles around lakes.

    The Ministry of Transport and Communication launches the project Friday by issuing a call to grant agreements for public procurement for construction of lanes around the Dojran Lake, Lake Mladost, Mavrovo Lake and Gabelovo Lake.

    These lakes are covered in the first stage of the envisaged four stages by the project, which will help the establishment of places for sports and recreation in line with tourist standards.

    - This will boost the interest of local and foreign tourist to come and visit and will improve conditions for tourism development, which will have a positive effect on Macedonia's economy in general, Transport Minister Mile Janakieski told a press conference.

    He informed that the first stage will last for three years. Depending on finances and preparations of lake shore projects from the second, third and fourth phase, the Ministry will issue calls to conclude deals for pedestrian lanes. Urban equipment and landscape design is under the jurisdiction of municipalities.


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    The web portal “my” and the center for promoting tourism (CPT) will promote Bitola as a wedding location in the world in order to attract more tourists.

    “We aim to attract attention to potential couples, who are looking for the perfect place to get married”, Coordinator Aneta Sijakova said.
    The city authorities said hope that their project will be successful and that there will be queues waiting to get married in Bitola.

    Maybe you find this to be weird way to promote a location, but we will try to promote Bitola from a different angle.
    What we said five years ago, it might come true at the end, Vladimir Taleski said.

    The center for developing tourism are thrilled with the idea. However they say that they will have to add something to make it more fun.

    We think that hotel owners can take participation in this project, Irena Ruzin said.

    “Each piece of land has its own story to tell. Macedonians are nation, which knows how to love and we ca take advantage of that and of course we can use that fact”, Mende Petkovski, the founder of the portal said.


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    Representatives of 15 Chinese tourist agencies and six media paid a visit Thursday to Ohrid within their tour across Macedonia.

    Macedonia and Ohrid may attract Chinese tourists, so it is possible for the country's tourist destinations to be offered on China's market, the guests said.

    - We are impressed by Macedonia's beauty, rich cultural heritage. We hope for new bridges of friendship, tourist cooperation to be opened in the future, said Christopher Millward, CEO of Beijing consulting firm Firebrands.

    After returning to China, media representatives will present their impressions from the visit to Macedonia, while tourist agencies, depending on their plans, may include the country in their offers.

    - The warm hospitality, rich cultural heritage and natural beauties will certainly attract many Chinese, Millward said, expressing hope for the results of this visit to be tangible in the near future.

    China's citizens have shown interest in this part of the Balkans, in particular the older ones who long for new destinations, said the sales manager of 'Turkish Airways' in China.

    This evening, the guests from China will meet their Balkan colleagues to discuss possibilities for cooperation in bringing more Chinese tourists to the region.


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    The exhibition of painter Vladimir Temkov, the monologue "Sons of the Light" by the actor Petar Temelkovski and the concert of the oboist Gordana Josifova - Nedelkovska and Big Band from the Faculty of Music Arts, conducted by Kire Kostov will open Friday evening the event "Kavadarci - City of Culture 2010."

    By Ministry of Culture's decision, Kavadarci was proclaimed the city of culture for 2010.

    150 other projects in different spheres will also be realised by end of the year. Art Colony - Kavadarci and many exhibitions by different artists will be included this year. Dragan Dautovski, Synthesis, Macedonian Philharmonic orchestra will also hold concerts.


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    Thursday, April 08, 2010



    The management of Turkey's TAV company - the concessionaire of Macedonian airports - announces the launch of main construction activities aimed at building and modernizing the two airports in a month and a half's time at the most.

    TAV managers claim that preparations are under way, as well as negotiations with construction firms to join the Euro 200 million investment. TAV has invested its own funds, but plans to close it with several commercial banks.

    - We were obligated to begin on 1 March, however there are activities that need to be completed beforehand, such as design and licences that we're waining to obtain. Nevertheless, we launch other activities while waiting for them. Negotiations are under way with construction firms that will start working in a month or month and a half's time, Murat Ornekol - TAV Holding Operations Director - said at a press briefing.

    TAV took over the management of "Alexander the Great'' airport in Skopje and "St. Paul the Apostle" in Ohrid on 1 March.

    The construction, reconstruction and modernization of the airports will be held under the helm of TAV Construction and several local firms will be selected.

    When asked why the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development had showed lack of interest to finance TAV's project, Ornekol said this was due to the fact that the investment included a construction of cargo airport in Stip, which was later delayed for 10 years with an annex to the concession contract.


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    Wednesday, April 07, 2010



    Macedonian model Katarina Ivanovska has been used in a april fools joke last week. Last week The Big Lead blog asked if NY Jets QB Mark Sanchez was dating Macedonian model Katarina Ivanovska because a tipster gave them a heads-up. An ordinary day in the blogosphere/new media. The tip was actually a prank. For those of you who don't know who Mark Sanchez is, he is a famous American football star quarterback playing for the NY Jets in the NFL.

    Anyway, two pranksters who would like to remain anonymous emailed Deadspin to tell the story of how they fed McIntyre (of The Big Lead blog) a bullshit story about Jets QB Mark Sanchez dating fashion model Katarina Ivanovska, a harmless rumor that's fifty times more enjoyable since it's patently false. The pranksters explain the process of getting McIntyre to take the bait.

    In the first email they sent to The big lead they asked if editor Mcintyre was interested. He was, and the name of Sanchez's "new girlfriend" was sent along with a story about how the tipster had both seen them at the gym and found out the girl's name through a buddy who worked there.

    The Macedonian model was chosen at random off an image search. The gym location was pulled off the internet, and chosen because it sounded nice and was in Manhattan.
    He emailed back. He suspected an April Fool's joke, but asked a.) how this was revealed, and b.) was she Facebookable. This passed for verification in his world.

    At this point, the plot looked spoiled, but another email was sent back to him reiterating the connection, avowing honesty, and providing a google search returning real live results for the model's name. The model. Who was real, chosen totally at random, and could be in Paris for all anyone knows. He emailed back saying that he was running with it, and that if it was "a 4/1 joke" we would "die." A final email from TBL arrived saying "Nice work." Even the NY Post fell for it and reported the story on page 6.

    MD: Nice one! Internet media was going crazy and many blogs were fooled. At least Katarina got some attention in the USA because of this. Check out the articles below

  • [The Big lead Article]

  • [NY Post Article]

  • [Deadspin article]

  • [Deadspin]

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    Stand-up comedy will be performed for the first time in Macedonia every Wednesday at 22:00 CET at Jukebox cabaret.

    Actors Sasko Kocev and Gorast Cvetkovski will be the first ones with their own stand-up performances. In an hour, they will entertain the audience with jokes involving everyday events and social topics.

    Stand-up comedy is a style of comedy where a comedian performs for a live audience, usually speaking directly to them. Stand-up performances are usually short, where the comedian recites a fast-paced succession of humorous stories, short jokes (called "bits"), and one-liners, which comprise what is typically called a monologue, routine or act.

    The idea is to give a chance to young anonymous talents and to established authors to go on stage, hoping that a new Robin Williams, Eddie Izzard, George Carlin, etc will be born. This kind of acting requires great skill. Stand-up performances are held regularly on the Balkans. In an effort to enrich Skopje's night life, an initiative was launched for this kind of entertainment, Jovica Mihajlovski - the co-owner of Jukebox - told a press conference.


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    The first bicycle festival VeloFest 2010 will be opened Wednesday evening in the Youth Cultural Centre in Skopje. The festival will also take place in 10 other municipalities until end of April.

    - Festival is dedicated to promotion of bicycling through culture. The goal is through photography exhibitions, films and bicycle design to raise culture of everyday riding a bicycle, Bojana Rantasha, coordinator of VeloFest said at a press conference.

    Festival will be opened with two film screenings - "While The Water Silently Noises," directed by Kole Angelovski, 1979 and „Fixed City," directed by Martin Giluk and Christina Ansand, 2009.

    An exhibition of 30 selected and 180 posted photographs dedicated to bicycling in the 20th century will also be presented.

    The programme also includes film screening of "Sportsman Lötzsch," directed by S. Hilpert & S. Prechtel, 2008 and selection of the oldest and most beautiful bicycle in every town.

  • [Velo Fest 2010]

  • [Idividi]

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    Sunday, April 04, 2010

    VELIGDEN (EASTER) - Христос Воскресе! Вистина Воскресе!


    Veligden (easter) is the biggest Christian holiday, the holiday of victory of the death. The day that Jesus Christ showed his devine powers and raised from the dead.

    This holiday is a connection between faith and traditions, tended by ages. The easter eggs are as old as the Christian faith and the church accepted it in it's traditions and as a symbol of the christian rising.

    The first Christians started to dye eggs, and donated them on Veligden and greetings with: Hristos Voskrese! (Christ is risen!) followed by the answer: Vistina Voskrese! (Indeed he is risen!)

    The red color is symbolic for victory. The meaning of it on this big holiday is that Jesus Christ concoured the death. The red colour represents the devine powers and the blood of Christ.

    MD: We want to wish you a wonderful weekend and happy easter! Христос Воскресе! Вистина Воскресе! Hristos Voskrese! Vistina Voskrese!


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    Thousands of hands in the air welcomed 50 Cent in Skopje. Last wednesday in the Boris Trajkovski hall the Macedonian youth was able to see a current world star for a change, instead of oldies who come to visit Macedonia at the end of their careers.

    Because of the great atmosphere, Curtis Jackson aka 50 Cent and his G-unit stayed on the stage for two hours and ten minutes instead of the planned hour and a half.
    Energy and support lead the rapper's performance that night and the crowd went the most when he started "In the club" and the most loud when he started "Ayo technology".

    50 Cent and his G-unit changed clothes on the stage all the time, and they throwed their shirts at the spectators. Teenage girls tried to grab the shirts and when succeeding to do so, holding on it very tight and smell the scent of their favorite performer.

    While 50 Cent was changing his outfit, Tony and Loyd from the G-Unit were smoking marihuana on stage. They enjoyed it very much with a Bob Marley song playing on the background.

    "African-American culture is very close to the Macedonian. I felt the resemblance because of the reactions of the crowd and the great atmosphere they made", 50 Cent told the organisers, AVALON productions, who brought him to Macedonia.

    In the two days he spend in Skopje, Curtis Jackson was very interested in the Macedonian history and he was looking for resemblance between Macedonian and African-American all the time. Along the river Vardar he continued his everyday habit and walked 16 kilometers. The guys at Avalon said, when he was jogging with a hat and track suit on, fans didnt recognize him and thus not coming close to him.

    The 50 Cent concert was opened by Macedonian rapper, Toni Zen. He said that his dream came true that night.

    MD: Nice, question now is, who will be the next star Avalon will bring to Macedonia?

  • [50 cent in skopje]

  • [Vest]

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    When Simona Ristovska returns to her home country of Macedonia in June after spending a year in the United States as an exchange student, she hopes to teach some of the orphans in her country about American sports.

    Ristovska has started a campaign to collect used sports equipment, such as footballs and baseballs, to take to the orphans of Macedonia. She said that Worldlink, the organization that sponsored the exchange program, encourages students to do a leadership project to spread American culture in the students’ home country. As a way of doing that, Ristovska hopes to collect baseball and football equipment to take to the orphans. She said baseball and football exemplify American sports.

    “It’s going to be for people to donate sports equipment,” she said. “It’s for any type of equipment like outdoor summer sports equipment. All those will go to the orphanages in Macedonia.”

    Ristovska originated the project name ‘Together Our Youth Served’ or the acronym T.O.Y.S. The main event for the project will be held on July 4, when Ristovska plans to hold a picnic and teach the American sports to the orphans. At the end of the day, all the toys will be donated to the children.


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    Saturday, April 03, 2010



    One of the most known symbols of our Easter traditions are the red dying of eggs . The tradition says that the Virgin Mother, Mary, dyed eggs this color to celebrated the Resurrection of Christ and to celebrate life.
    In Macedonian Orthodox households throughout the world, families gather to continue on the tradition.

    You’ll find some instructions below to dye your eggs the right way! :)

    -Purchase a packet or two of red egg dye. You can buy them in most of the stores.
    -Purchase 2 dozen large white eggs. Wash and dry the eggs and examine them for any cracks.
    -Empty 1/2 packet of red dye into a teacup of just-boiled water. Stir until dye is completely dissolved. (If you want to get a deep red color on the eggs, try emptying the whole packet in the water.)
    -Fill a 10- to 12-qt. cooking pot 3/4 full of water and add about 4 oz. of distilled vinegar. Bring the vinegar water to a boil.
    -Add the dissolved dye to the boiling vinegar water. As the mixture reaches a full rolling boil, froth will develop on the surface; skim this froth off before adding your eggs.
    -Put the desired number of eggs to be colored into the dye mixture and boil as you would normally prepare hard-boiled eggs, usually about 5 minutes. You may use all 2 dozen eggs if you like. ** REMEMBER: Place the eggs in slowly and gently to prevent them from cracking.**
    -Remove the eggs from the heat and let them stand in the dye for several more minutes before taking them out of the water.
    -Lastly, if you want to give the eggs a nice glossy shine when you proudly display them, take just a bit of olive oil in a towel and gently rub the whole of the egg.

    MD: Time to dye those eggs! It is said to be good luck if you keep a dyed red egg each year, until the next easter, around the house somewhere.

    [MD Network]

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