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...

SCOOP reveals political parties’ property: from fields and pastures to luxury apartments and buildings (update)

DOCUMENTATION Shops, yards, fields, buildings, flats…This is just part of the ownership of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE, which appears as the owner of 100 title deeds where places unknown to the general public can be seen. The biggest properties owned by the party of ex-Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski are in Saraj, Kisela Voda and Centar, where VMRO-DPMNE owns buildings, apartments and pastures. Unlike them, SDSM owns far smaller property; the main one is located at Bihacka Street. DUI is ranked third in the official list of acquired property, whereas DPA does not appear to own property. VMRO-DPMNE with biggest property According to documents obtained by SCOOP, VMRO-DPMNE owns property in almost all municipalities in Macedonia. The party has a property even in Mal Papranik, a place with hardly fifty houses. Nikola Gruevski’s party has most title deeds in the municipality...

Between personal gain and public interest: are the media also to blame for the crisis?

When the government began to implement campaigns and advertise them, most of the private media in Macedonia entered the race to grab a larger share of the pie. Experts say that not only advertisements but also tenders buy media support. This situation in the Macedonian media market has raised several questions and dilemmas: Have the media become a cover for the business? Can a medium as a private property take into account only their income, although performing a public activity? Are private media obliged to keep account of the public interest? By signing the Przino Agreement, which undertook reforms in the media, another key question has opened: are the media to blame for the political crisis by not having adhered to journalistic standards and ethics in their work?   BUSINESS AND MEDIA – WINNING COMBINATION   Overall, behind the...

KEY PLAYERS IN THE MEDIA BUSINESS: WHO OWNS THE MEDIA IN MACEDONIA?

The majority in the Macedonian Parliament, without much debate and deliberation, turned down the bill on reforms in the media just days before it was dissolved. The proposal, comprised under the advice of ex-mediator Peter Vanhoutte, was expected to be seriously addressed by MPs because of their leaders’ signature of the Przino Agreement. But with the rejection of this proposal another unfulfilled obligation remained ahead of the early parliamentary elections on 5th June. Media organizations as proponents are once again disappointed by the lack of political will to finally regulate the media sphere in Macedonia. It is necessary to reform the media sector in a period when the political crisis is culminating. This opens several questions: who owns the media in Macedonia and thus the largest share in shaping public opinion? Do private media take into account the public...

SCANDAL: Journalists – “a security threat” to SCPC

“You are a threat to the security of the institution and cannot enter it”. This unpleasant answer was given to the team of SCOOP-Macedonia on April 6, 2016 by a person who introduced himself as the Chief Security Officer at the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption (SCPC). With this, journalists were prevented from filing a request for free access to information under the Law on Free Access to Public Information. SCOOP’s ordeal in SCPC began on April 6, 2016 at around 11 am. We entered the building in Dame Gruev Street No. 1 where we were greeted by a security officer in civilian clothes. After seeing our ID card she wrote our names in the book and asked us what we were doing there. We explained that we wanted to file a request for free access to public...

Business and politics in the media: Are reforms possible?

DOCUMENTATION     When in the spring of 1996 the first issue of the independent daily “Dnevnik” was published, the then government was aware that the time was coming of the media that it would not be able to control. “Dnevnik” and then the private TV “A1” soon became influential media, taking the power to create public opinion of the then media that were state-owned – newspapers “Nova Makedonija”, “Vecer”, “Flaka” and the Macedonian Radio television (MRTV). Strengthening the position of private-independent media put into bankruptcy the media that had been established and controlled by the state for several decades. Therefore, the state decided to sell newspapers that were state-owned, while MRTV was transformed from state to public service. Without any fundamental reforms in the political system, little can be changed in the media. Mediator Vanhoutte’s proposals are sound...

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