Thursday, June 02, 2011



On June 12 a group of 15 student athletes of the Oregon State University from Corvalis, Oregon, USA will go on a mission to Macedonia to help build a house for a family of five. The project is organized by the 'Beavers Without Borders' group in cooperation with the Habitat for Humanity. Beavers is the nickname of the university's athletic program, the Oregon State Beavers.

The 15 students will stay for ten days in Macedonia where they will help build a home in Staro Nagoricane, Kumanovsko. The 15 athletes are;

Dominic Glover - American Football
Kristen Carmichael - Football (Soccer)
Roberto Nelson - Basketball
Mary Claire Benner - Softball
Joe Burton - Basketball
Howard Croom - American Football
Brian Watkins - American Football
Kevin McShane - Basketball
Garett Hall - American Football
Mike Hann - Rowing
Hannah Soza Hodgkinson - Track
Ryan McCants - American Football
Daniel Migas - Rowing
Krista Stangel - Track
Jennifer Kesler - Gymnastics

'Beavers Without Borders' have done similar projects in Guatamala and future projects are planned in Cambodia, Honduras and also in recent tornado destroyed cities of Tuscaloosa, Alabama and Joplin, Missouri.

Check out the video below and visit the links to find out more about this great project.

  • [Beavers Without Borders]

  • [Habitat Macedonia]

  • [Kevin McShane]

  • [MD]

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    Monday, April 18, 2011



    The Skopje Zoo welcomed three newly born Siberian tigers this morning at 9am. Sponsor of the newly reconstructed tiger's living quarters is former Skopje mayor Trifun Kostovski. He will have the honors of naming one of the tigers.

    The Siberian tigers are considered an endangered species, with only 350-400 living in the wild.

    MD: This is pretty special. It does not happen too often for new Siberian tigers to be born in captivity, especially not in Southeastern Europe.


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    Saturday, April 09, 2011



    Turkish-based international company “TAV” has completed the reconstruction of the Ohrid-based airport “St. Paul the Apostle”.

    The opening ceremony is set to be held on Sunday. Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Head of “TAV” Sani Sener will address the attendees.

    „TAV Airports Holding“ took over Macedonian airports in March 2010.
    The reconstruction of Skopje-base airport will be completed in October.

    They plan to invest around 200 million euros.


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    Vine growers received today their subsidies for the purchased grapes, said Vice Premier and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski during Friday's visit to Negotino.

    "The total amount is approximately EUR 2 million, allocated to vine growers in Negotino, Kavadarci, Strumica, Sveti Nikole etc", said Stavreski.

    Pertaining to latest statistical data on the trade deficit, he assessed as favorable that the deficit is aimed at financing investments and import of machinery and equipment, which indicates the economy's awakening.

    "It would not be good if the deficit is reflected on personal consumption, i.e. import of commodities for personal consumption. In this case, there is import of machinery, equipment and other goods which demonstrates that Macedonian companies expect the economy to rise and import commodities that stimulate export", added Stavreski.


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    Monday, April 04, 2011



    Private money transfers from Macedonians working abroad reached 1.366 billion euros in 2010, latest data from the Central Bank show.

    This is some 230 million euros more than in 2009 and 380 million euros more than in 2008.

    By comparison, Macedonia attracted only 222 million euros in Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, in 2010.

    Most money comes from Macedonian communities in Australia, Canada, Switzerland and Italy, the data show. Macedonians employed in Afghanistan and Dubai are also contributing significantly to the total sum.

    Local economic experts say the value of private money transfers is probably larger than data suggest, as some is sent in cash form and not registered by the authorities.

    Experts note that private transfers of this kind make up some 20 per cent of the country’s GDP, feeding the country with fresh money and defending the stability of the national currency, the denar.

    Some experts say more effort needs to be invested in mobilizing this significant financial resource, by encouraging the diaspora to invest its money in the local economy.

    "The authorities should offer these people the same benefits they offer foreign investors,” Abdulmenaf Bexheti, an economics professor at the University of South-Eastern Europe, in Tetovo, says.

    Macedonia's foreign trade deficit neared 1.51 billion euros in 2010. Exports covered only 60 per cent of the value of imported goods that year.

    The country ended last year with minimal economic growth of just over 1 per cent. The government hopes it will reach 5 per cent in 2012 and 2013, matching the rate before before the global crisis struck in 2008.

    The world downturn has crippled the country’s flagship metal and construction industries, which are responsible for much of the country’s exports.

    No exact data exist on how many families in Macedonia subsist on the support of relatives working abroad but some experts suggest the likely figure is well over 100,000 families.

    MD: And yet so many Macedonians still see the diaspora in a negative way as 'those who left'.


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    Gruevski must now submit his proposal to parliament, which will dissolve itself and officially set the date for polls, both mere formalities because Gruevski's ruling VMRO DPMNE holds an overwhelming majority in the assembly.

    “The elections will be fair, free and democratic. Those who try to obstruct them will be fiercely punished by the institutions,” Gruevski said, adding that he is confident in election victory.

    The prime minister made the announcement at a press conference in Skopje on Wednesday, just hours after the main opposition party dropped its demands for the poll.

    Earlier on Wednesday, Social Democrat leader Branko Crvenkovski told Gruevski in his own press conference: “You just state the day of elections and we are there”.

    The party said it had withdrawn its demands that certain conditions be met before elections are held, though it did not end its boycott of parliament.

    The opposition and the ruling party had reached agreement on the need for fresh elections, but could not agree on a date for the polls.

    In addition, the Social Democrats had asked for a revision of the voters list and the electoral units in order to ensure a fair election process and eliminate possibility for fraud, as well as the adoption of a law that would prevent the state from favouring certain media outlets by directing all its advertisement money to them.

    In meetings last week, opposition and government leaders reached agreement in principle on those three demands.

    Prime Minister Gruevski could not agree to a third demand- the unfreezing of the bank account of A1 TV, a critically inclined media that the opposition claims Gruevski wants to shut down- saying he cannot influence the court.

    “On one hand, you will have your laws, your electoral roll, your media and your money for buying votes but we will win because we have the people on our side,” Crvenkovski said on Wednesday.

    The opposition began a parliament boycott in late January. It has since increased calls for early elections, blaming Gruevski’s VMRO DPMNE for curbing democracy and media freedom and stalling the country’s economic and political progress.

    Gruevski has been in power since 2006. He further strenghtened his position after winning a landslide victory at the 2008 snap polls.


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    The Democratic Renewal of Macedonia, DOM, a minor party in the ruling coalition, says it is filing a resolution to parliament this week aimed at halting plans to build a new nuclear plant.

    Macedonia’s current energy strategy envisages investing in nuclear power to overcome electricity shortages.

    “We will ask for a revision of the national energy strategy and want to see a permanent moratorium on all nuclear energy plans,” the party spokesperson, Toni Ristov, told Balkan Insight.

    Roughly one-third of Macedonia’s electricity comes from imports. Experts say the country needs new capacities if it does not want to become entirely dependent on outside power.

    Ristov also announced the formation of a Balkan-wide "green" coalition with the same goal, amid reports of new initiatives to build nuclear plants in neighbouring Bulgaria, Albania, Turkey and elsewhere.

    Macedonia’s main ruling party, VMRO DPMNE, and the main opposition Social Democrats, say they need more time to decide whether to support the resolution.

    “The government has not reached any decision on possible investment in nuclear energy, although this remains an option in the national strategy,” government spokesperson Martin Martinovski told Balkan Insight.

    Macedonian authorities last year mulled plans to invest in Bulgaria's nuclear power plant at Belene in order to solve its power shortage. Some local experts, on the other hand, urge Macedonia to build its own nuclear power plant in the southern Mariovo region.

    Meanwhile, energy experts fear a severe shock for the country’s electricity-dependent industry and households after electricity prices on world markets skyrocketed following Japan’s nuclear threat.

    Before the Japanese disaster, a MWh of electricity on the world market sold for an average of 50 euros. The average price is now 63 euros.

    The catastrophic earthquake and tsunami that have crippled Japan’s Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant have prompted many countries to rethink their nuclear energy plans.

    The EU has ordered tests to check the safety of all reactors. Germany said last week that it will temporarily shut all seven of its nuclear reactors built before 1980. India also announced increased safety measures.

    Nuclear power provides about a third of the electricity used by the EU's 27 nations. Only two nuclear power plants operate in the Balkans, at Cernavoda in Romania and at Krsko in Slovenia.


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    Saturday, March 12, 2011



    New EU Ambassador to Macedonia Peter Sorensen had his first official meeting with Macedonian Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of European Affairs Vasko Naumovski on Friday.

    “I specifically pointed out this to be my first statement after my arrival and after my introductory I want to point who will be our partner during our working”, EU Ambassador Sorensen said.

    He said that his main goal will be getting Macedonia nearer to joining the European Union.

    “The European Union continues with its support. In the following period the EU plans to spend about 98 million euros for this country. We continue to be active and we get back to work right after my introductory. I'm aware that the Secretariat did a very good job in the past and I''m sure they will do the same in the future. I'm here to support it”, Sorensen said.

    Deputy Prime Minister in Charge of European Affairs Vasko Naumovski expects that the Danish diplomat will make personal efforts for a sooner start of accession talks with the EU.

    Sorensen took office last week as head of the EU in Macedonia


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    Sunday, January 09, 2011



    The traditional Vevcani Carnival, which claims a 14 century long legacy, is held every year from 13 to 14 January in the southwestern Macedonian village of Vevcani.
    Recognized by the Federation of European Carnival Cities (FECC), the carnival attracts thousands of both domestic and international visitors to see the people of Vevcani disguised in elaborate masks expressing humor and sarcasm. Some of the most common costumes include devils, demons and other mythical characters.

    For over 1,400 years the Vevcani Carnival has been an interesting mix of paganism and modernism. The home setting of the carnival events is the village of Vevcani, which turns into a boundless theater, where each house and street is a scene on which disguised people perform plays like real actors.

    A novelty of this year's festival edition is the New Year's bazaar for craftsmen and souvenir producers.

    "One should attend the carnival and feel the Vevcani spirit and humour, where no one is forgiven, be it famous or common person", Liljana Popovska, chairperson of the Vevcani Carnival Board, told a press conference.

    Official figures show that around 60,000 visitors attended the carnival in the past three years, each of them spending at least 10 euros. The event made a 600.000 euro boost to the country's economy.

    This year's Vevcani Carnival is organized by Tetragon, association for alternative tourism "Balkanika" and association "Denica", along with the support from T-Home, ministries of culture and economy.


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    Almost all scheduled takeoffs and landings at Alexander the Great airport in Skopje have been cancelled due to dense fog.

    Only one plane took off at 08:00 a.m. for Zurich. Flights for Vienna, Budapest, Zagreb, Belgrade, Podgorica and Bursa have been cancelled.

    Fog also prevented planes from Budapest, Zurich, Bursa and Vienna to land. Some of them have returned and some have been redirected toward the Ohrid airport.

    Officials from the Skopje airport say that air traffic will be normalized as soon as weather conditions allow it.

    The fog so far causes no major problems on highways in the country. There are good driving conditions throughout the country without any prohibition or restriction for all types of motor vehicles on mainly wet highways in the morning.

    Drivers are advised to drive carefully and with low speed, to keep adequate distances between vehicles on roads linking Veles - Stip (up to 100 meters of visibility), Prilep-Kicevo (50 meters), Prilep-Krusevo (30-50 meters), Skopje-Veles (30-50 meters), Negotino-Veles (50-100 meters).


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    Thursday, October 14, 2010



    Watch the trailer of Milco Mancevski's new movie, 'Mothers' (Majki).


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    Saturday, October 02, 2010



    19 Members of Congress sent a letter today to President Barack Obama urging him to actively encourage the United States’ NATO allies to offer Macedonia a formal invitation to become a member of the alliance at the Lisbon Summit this upcoming November. Led by Congressman Earl Pomeroy (D-North Dakota) and Congresswoman Candice Miller (R-Michigan), the letter stated “Macedonia’s future in Euro-Atlantic institutions, as well as the security and stability of Southeast Europe, must no longer be negatively affected by bilateral issues with Greece.”

    Copies of the letter were sent to Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and Secretary of Defense Robert Gates.

    The Members of Congress underscored Macedonia’s contributions to peace, democracy, stability, and security in Southeast Europe and elsewhere, making it clear “Macedonia is a close U.S. ally and has been acting as a de facto ally for some time.”

    The Members of Congress drew attention to Macedonia’s commitment to U.S. and NATO-led international missions being a key staging area for NATO intervention in Kosovo in 1999, participation in Operation Iraqi Freedom from 2003 to 2008, and being among the top four largest troop contributors per capita to ISAF, where Macedonia’s troops patrol the ISAF Headquarters in Kabul, Afghanistan. Click HERE for full text of letter.

    United Macedonian Diaspora (UMD) is grateful to Congressman Pomeroy and Congresswoman Miller for taking the initiative in increasing Congressional support for Macedonia’s NATO membership, which is one of UMD’s top policy priorities. UMD praises all 19 members of Congress for standing behind Macedonia’s goals to join the Euro-Atlantic family of nations, and greatly appreciates their friendship.

    Among the members of Congress who signed the letter are Congressman Bennie Thompson (D-Mississippi), Chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee; Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Florida), the Co-Chairman of the U.S. Helsinki Commission; Congressman Connie Mack (R-Florida), Member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee; and Congressman Russ Carnahan (D-Missouri), Chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee’s Subcommittee on International Organizations, Human Rights, and Oversight.

    The letter to President Obama comes at a special time in light of the visit of Macedonian Defense Minister Zoran Konjanovski to Washington, D.C. early next week where he is to meet with Secretary Gates, Senior Obama Administration officials and Members of Congress. Last year, a similar letter was sent to Secretary of State Clinton by 15 members of Congress. Click HERE for full text of letter.

    UMD commends the efforts of all Macedonian-American organizations, community leaders, fellow Macedonian-Americans, and American friends of Macedonia for all their hard work in educating members of Congress about the issues concerning the Macedonian-Americans. In addition, UMD thanks the Embassy of Macedonia for their hard work in advancing U.S.-Macedonian relations. UMD fully supports Macedonia’s efforts to join NATO.

    Founded in 2004, United Macedonian Diaspora is a leading international non-governmental organization addressing the interests and needs of Macedonians and Macedonian communities throughout the world.

    UMD's headquarters are located in Washington, D.C., and it has representatives serving Macedonian communities around the world, including Brussels, Canberra, Chicago, Detroit, Kiev, London, Los Angeles, Melbourne, New York, Ottawa, Paris, Perth, St. Petersburg, Stuttgart, Sydney, Toronto, and Vienna.


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    Thursday, September 23, 2010



    The name dispute is unnecessary and unfounded, since Macedonia was called the same in the time of former Yugoslavia and this did not cause any problems then, says former U.S. Secretary of State, Lawrence Eagleburger.

    "The country that is now named Macedonia was called the same during its existence as a republic within the former Yugoslavia. Did this fact lead to serious problems between Greece and Yugoslavia or between Greece and the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia? There were misunderstandings now and then, but they never reached a point when they would pose a threat to peace in the region. Is there anything more immature and more foolish than 'blackmailing' a nation by denying its membership in international organizations, which goal is to preserve the peace and protect their members from aggression of non-members", says Eagleburger in an interview with NTV station.

    Pertaining to Greek accusations that Macedonia is creating 'antiquisation', Eagleburger stresses it has no right to make the antique Macedonian history its own.

    "Greece claims that Macedon or Macedonia, as well as Alexander of Macedonia are its own. This is a false claim and it is time someone confirms this. The Antique Greeks considered Macedonia a half-civilized region, representing a source of raw materials and nothing more. Macedonia's rise in the time of Phillip and his son Alexander was greeted with opposition, resulting in a defeat of several cities. Phillip and Alexander were considered tyrants who destroy Greeks' freedom. The claims of modern Greeks that the antique kingdom of Macedon was their own ignores a historic fact", adds Eagleburger.

    Due to these facts, he cannot accept the validity of Greece's request for ownership of name Macedonia.

    "Ancient Greeks had never been eager in claiming Macedonia was theirs and they never accepted either Phillip or Alexander as their own legitimate rulers. The Greek claim about Macedonia is based on historically incorrect information and are therefore not fact-based", says the former U.S. Secretary of State.

    Eagleburger has sympathies for the Macedonian people, although he realizes it is not wise for a foreigner to interfere with internal affairs of two states.

    "However, my excitement from the strength of character that the Macedonian people has demonstrated in the course of this debate justifies the fact of my taking sides", underlines Lawrence Eagleburger in the NTV interview.


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    Thursday, September 09, 2010



    Recently, the world's most famous DJ, Tiësto, the kind young man as he is, put up a photograph of the Macedonian flag(pictured at the right) on his facebook profile with a comment underneath which said; I like the Macedonian flag. Macedonian Tiësto fans were suprised and flattered to see that photo and to see that Tiësto likes our flag. That made many Macedonians even a little proud of course.

    But then, the Greeks... aah well, the Greeks were just being the Greeks. That means a bunch of hysterical trouble makers. When the Greeks on facebook noticed he had put up the flag, Tiësto got so many hateful comments on his profile. Soon the facebook profile of Tiësto turned into a political hatred forum with a very heated discussion full of insults towards Macedonia and towards Tiësto.

    Probably because of that Tiësto or his management decided to remove the photo from his photo album. Why? Isn't that ridiculous? Tiësto just wanted to post a picture and to share something. He doesn't give a damn about the political issues, he probably doesnt even know what it's all about. The nice guy just likes a flag!

    That spotlight was quickly turned off because of the well known Greek hysteria. That hysteria has even become so worse that Tiësto can't even post a normal picture anymore and because of that hysteria, we Macedonians can't even enjoy being in the spotlight a bit and enjoy seeing Tiësto liking our flag.

    Of course its a small example but it clearly shows how ridiculous this is. They forced Tiësto to take the photo down. For how long will this cultural genocide go on?


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    February 27 2010:


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