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...

DIGITALIZATION: FOREIGN CHANNELS MORE ATTRACTIVE, DOMESTIC CHANNELS FAIL SIMPLE FEATURES SUCH AS TELETEXT

Residents of Novo Selo, in Demir Hisar, do not have a major choice on their TV sets, and learn about what is happening beyond their place of residence solely on the three channels emitted by the public broadcasting service – MRTV, including the parliament channel. Although they have procured receivers to follow other channels with national concession, whose signals should reach their homes, they are still denied this service. However, they are not alone in this predicament. According to statements of residents in other rural areas, they as well are not satisfied with the offer that should have been achieved with digitalization, which had been announced as revolution of televised offers. Many and varied features were promised: subtitles in several languages, faster teletext, online payment, electronic programme guide, interactive television… While it was expected to contribute to improved media...

SCOOP research: State land divided to officials

Argument about a state land in Vevcani. Around 267 hectares under the Struga village of Vevcani have two tenants. The land is state owned and Ministry of Agriculture offers it to two owners. First under public call, issued in situations where state land is already planted and the farmer has not taken out a lease, and then it is given to public announcement. The company “Eco Project” applied, run by Maja Aluloska, Mitre Aluloski’s daughter from Vevcani. Hazelnuts were planted in 2009 and later drip irrigation was implemented. Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Management, then headed by Ljupco Dimovski, current MP of the Socialist Party, approved Mitre Aluloski and his daughter to lease the land under the village of Vevcani. He sent a lease agreement, which the family Aluloski signed and sent it for signature to the Ministry...

The mystery of one building: in the center of Skopje, but “invisible” to the institutions

Centar Municipality has no records of the Telecom building, a striking eight-store building in the center of Skopje. Built next to the Stone Bridge and located on Macedonia square, this building is shrouded in mystery. Apart from the parties, no one knows how much the land was purchased for, how much tax has been paid for this building and what utility fees have been paid for it. Minister of Transport and Communications, Vlado Misajloski does not even know which building is Telecom. “In the archives of the municipality Centar there is no archive box for the given building, that is no materials, no files, for the Urbanism services of Centar Municipality could answer your questions”, says the official response from the Centar Municipality to the request that SCOOP-Macedonia submitted under the Law on Free Access to Public Information. According...

SCOOP research: MPs – one discussion 400 Euros

  DOCUMENTATION1 DOCUMENTATION2 Sashko’s phone alarm from Kocani rings at 5:10 am sharp, when he wakes up to get ready for another day at work. He is a worker in one of the foreign investments in Eastern Macedonia, where the day should bring a daily fee of 500 denars. “I earn 12,000 denars salary. I work 25 days a month, it means every Saturday. One week first shift, the other second and then third shift”, complains 33-year-old man from Kocani. Sashko works 8 hours per day or 200 working hours per month. “200 hours for 200 Euros“, Sashko comments bitterly. In the last parliamentary elections he voted for someone to represent him in parliament. His MP also earns 200 Euros, but unlike Sasko, he earns that money in just one day. According to the analysis by the Centre for...

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