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...

Ministerial salaries: half a million Euros only for salaries

  DOCUMENTATION One hundred thirty-three thousand denars or more than 2,000 Euros is the salary that former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski has left the PM’s chair with on Ilindenska bb St. Although this is not the highest amount compared to other offices in the state, and it does not make it exclusive, but it is unique that only in our country it is a real feat to get to such seemingly ordinary information that in neighboring countries can be found out with just two clicks. Everywhere in the region salaries of ministers and officials are public information that can be found on the websites of local agencies for fight against corruption or commission for prevention of conflict of interest. Here it took us two months to prove the public interest to institutions and through petitions to come to the...

Pre-election employments: More than 1,000 new utility employees in just two years

DOCUMENTATION Obsolete equipment, reduced efficiency and disgruntled citizens. This is the image of utilities, where it seems that nothing changes except the number of employees. The research of the Center for Investigative Journalism SCOOP Macedonia showed evidence that the number of utility employees increases for every election. In 2005 there were 6,034 utility employees, in 2008 and 2009 on the eve of local elections further 1,000 people were employed. More than 1,000 people were employed before the local elections in 2013 and parliamentary elections in 2014. Using the Law on Free Access to Public Information we sent requests to all utilities via municipalities which are their founders and we received a response from 61 municipality. The total number of inhabitants living in municipalities that submitted answers is 1.715 million. “The reasons for such situation should be sought in politics”,...

State Commission for Prevention of Corruption in chaos: fight against corruption or protection?

Outdated data, deleted declarations of assets of former officials and a long list of current elected officials who have not submitted any yet. This picture is provided by the database of the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption when citizens try to find out how the body in charge of protection against misuse of their money by state officials works. The website of the State Commission for Prevention of Corruption has no information about the property of Saso Mijalkov, former director of the Administration for Security and Counterintelligence and PM Nikola Gruevski’s cousin. There is also no data about the former Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski, ex-Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska and her former assistant, Ivo Koteski, as well as the ex-director of the Public Revenue Office, Goran Trajkovski. Although no longer ministers, declarations of assets of the...

Macedonian students with worst standards in the Balkans

Macedonia is a country of pensioners, they receive free baths, free transport, larger pensions. Unlike students, who are to bear the burden of the Macedonian society, thrown on the margins and have the worst living in the Balkans and beyond Dilapidated roofs and floors. Crumbling walls, ruined buildings. This is the picture of the Macedonian dormitories. This image is synonymous with Macedonian student standard. SCOOP Macedonia did a research on student living in Macedonia compared to other Balkan countries. For this purpose, we compared several parameters of student standards in Bulgaria, Romania, Serbia, Croatia and Slovenia. These countries are closest to us geographically and according to development. In all comparisons our students live much more miserably than all the other students in the capitals of the Balkans.   Four students get as one pensioner   The average pension in...

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