Top 10 richest mayors weigh 13 million Euros

authors: Bjanka Stankovich, Angela Petrovska and Angela Rajchevska   In the upcoming local elections, in the race for the municipalities’ first people, the parties have proposed their candidates. In 55 out of 82 municipalities, the lists of candidates have the names of well-known mayors. Only in the other 27 municipalities there are new candidates. SCOOP processed the data on the assets of the candidates who will run again for mayors in these 55 municipalities. The information is reported to the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption. The richest mayor in the Republic of Macedonia is Ratko Dimitrovski, current and future candidate for mayor of Kocani, with nearly 4 million Euros. He is known as the owner and manager of the printing house “Europe 92” for the opening of which he received a donation from the Open Society Foundation. In...

Kancheska overnight at Hilton, Sheraton and Ritz and shopping at “Versace”

DOCUMENTATION Four thousand and three hundred Euros from the personal card of former Minister of Culture to goverment of Republic of Macedonia, Elizabeta Kanchevska Milevska were transferred to the account of the famous hotel chain Hilton in just one day. However, not from her private account, but from the account of the budget filled by the citizens of the Republic of Macedonia. Yet Hilton was not the only destination of the ex-minister, who was a frequent guest of the renowned Sheraton and Ritz hotels in the European and world metropolises. A sum of 300 Euros was paid per night in these hotels. The card was used for everything, from the purchase of a coffee machine-Nespresso, through shoppinh at Zara Home in Thessaloniki, the famous Greek shopping center “Notos Galleries”, then “Baldinini” in Venice, Moncler UK LTD in London. She...

REPRESENTATION 2: RESTAURANT INVOICES ARE HIDDEN AS IF THEY WERE A STATE SECRET

authors: Bjanka Stankovich, Angela Petrovska and Angela Rajchevska (here you can read Part One) Searching for the true picture of how rationally the municipal bureaucracy behaves and whether for the citizens’ benefit, the SCOOP research team visited several municipalities. Under the Law on Free Access to Information, it addressed all 82 municipalities. From most of them we received data and documents on how and what the mayors and their administration spend the money of their fellow citizens for. ALCOHOLIC DRINKS AND SWEETS BOUGHT The SCOOP research team sent requests for free access to public information to all municipalities in the Republic of Macedonia. Municipal officials were requested information on the municipal budgets, annual sums for representation expenses, as well as invoices for representation in the last five years, that is, from 2012 to 2016. The Municipalities of Resen and...

Representation: Empty holes for full stomachs

DOCUMENTATION authors: Bjanka Stankovich, Angela Petrovska and Angela Rajchevska   Fifty cuts of lamb cost 17,500 denars, 30 pieces of white cheese – 7,500 denars, and ten kilograms of hard cheese – 3,880 denars. A total of 30,324 denars, or 500 Euros were paid by the municipality of Ohrid to the company Kamimpex for an undefined “catering” service. But this is not the record of the Ohrid administration. In one day someone put a signature on an invoice for spent 41,580 denars or about 650 Euros, also for restaurant services where they had salads and rakija, grills, wine, chocolate cakes and cognac. BOTH RICH AND POOR MUNICIPALITIES SPEND ON RESTAURANTS Fried zucchini, seafood risotto, meat, grilled squid, ice cream, cake and fruit…were not enough in one day for one or more “related” parties paid with tax money, so they...

Cardboard for Curtains: Life in Macedonia’s Hospitals

April. For many it’s the best time of year, when people wake from a cold and long winter. For others, such as nurse Hava Sait Nexhip, it means the beginning of an annual, months-long water shortage at the medical campus outside Skopje where she has worked for eight years. “Each April till September we don’t have water,” Sait Nexhip says, though she can offer no explanation. “But this year we didn’t have water beginning in March. We get water from the village tap just for hygiene purposes. We only use it for washing dishes and hands. So we manage somehow,” says Sait Nexhip, who is concerned for her and patients’ health. Among those patients is the mayor of Aracinovo, the local municipality, to whom they have repeatedly appealed for help with the water shortage, only to be told it’s not...

Parties’ property – invisible in reports

Parties’ finances are under scrutiny of the institutions, but not as much as their property, which should be available to the public, experts comment on the SCOOP-Macedonia published story, where we published detailed title deeds of the four main parties. Although the parties claim that they regularly make inventory and submit these documents to the state institutions, however, on their web sites no annual financial statements can be seen, let alone what they own. Even from the State Audit Office they say that parties’ property is mentioned in the reports only in passing, and their focus is on the money on political parties’ accounts. Looking at the parties’ financial statements prepared by the State Audit Office, the parties’ property is mentioned only in passing and only in cases where auditors have concluded certain conditions. For example, in the Annual...

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