Macedonia without forests due to personal benefit of individuals

Author: Iskra Opetceska   Employees at responsible positions in the Public Enterprise (PE) “Macedonian Forests“, branch “Babuna” Veles, break the Law on forests illegally earning thousands of Euros on the back of the state and private forest owners, says Gilbert Jacques Arsov, owner of 42 hectares of land  with 700 cubic meters of trees in the area of Veles village Vetersko. “One of the biggest problems is issue slips. Data written on the issue slip does not correspond to the real situation on the ground. So for example, on the issue slip it is written that 3 cubic meters of timber are cut and on the other, backup, 30 cubic meters of timber. All this on the grounds that there should be balance in logging because each plot is different. In some there are fewer trees for logging and...

School gyms: promises stronger than realization

author: Zaklina Hadzi-Zafirova Grey walls and overgrown grass. This is the picture to which residents of Skopje suburb Cento have already got used to while passing by the primary school “Krste Misirkov”, where ten years ago a new school gym was supposed to be built. But instead of a new building, which was announced by all previous governments, pupils and children of this suburb have to be satisfied with the school yard and surrounding worn and improvised local courts where they play basketball or football for fun. Almost as old as the building in Cento is the long-rumored school gym in Avtokomanda next to the dormitory “Stiv Naumov”, where despite the authorities’ announcements, still nothing happens, and the building gets ruined year after year. Is there a strategy of what the citizens’ needs in the municipality are? And what...

In the toxic Kingdom of Jugohrom

Author: Xhelal Neziri   When in 2005 the new Law on Environment was passed, it was believed that Macedonia would finally begin to solve the enormous pollution. Even after 10 years the country, facing bad economic indicators and high unemployment, is facing the same problem. During this decade the government put forward several deadlines for setting environmental filters for the biggest polluters, but only a small part of them obeyed. Last deadline was October 31, when the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning was to close all pollutants that had not started the procedure to install the filters required by law. But a day later in a joint press conference in Skopje, Deputy Prime Minister for Economic Affairs Vladimir Pesevski and Minister of MEPP Nurhan Izairi appeared  with some good news for pollutants: the deadline for Jugohrom was renewed...

The air and soil in Veles permanently “rich” with metals

author: Bojan Shashevski   Air, soil and vegetables in Veles are completely contaminated with toxic metals! The recent research of the prominent professor Trajche Stafilov’s team from the Institute of Chemistry has shown devastating results – people around the closed lead and zinc smelter and the unprotected dump breathe air that is over 10 times more polluted than allowed, and eat vegetables rich with heavy metals. The results confirm the 10-year poisoning of the town in the heart of Macedonia. Scientists and environmentalists ask for an institution that would put a strict line, remove vegetables from the free market, decide upon greener alternative and implement a long-running project against air pollution.   “The most worrying data is in the samples of moss, the houses and vegetables from Veles and Povardarie. In order to see the condition with air pollution...

MPs’ travel expenses are for a year

On her profile on the social network Facebook MP Silvana Boneva stated that it was not true that the expenses the online magazine “Inbox 7” had written about were for a year, but for two years. The documents show that all expenses were paid for the first 11 months of 2014. Some of these costs were incurred in 2013 (from May to December 2013 and paid in 2014). That calculation includes travel expenses from January to September 2014. The formula for calculating the expenses is 30% of the price per liter of petrol for every kilometer. 66 MPs have the right to use travel expenses of the Assembly. Seemingly it turns out that the expenses we have written about are for 15 months. But here we have to mention that on March 5, 2014 the Parliament dissolved itself and...

MPs: Cheaper to Dubai than from Ohrid to Skopje

Dubai is a destination that Macedonian citizens can visit by plane for just 140 Euros. MPs from Gevgelija, Ohrid and Struga for a trip to Skopje get from six to 8,000 denars from the parliamentary budget. Dubai is about 5,000 kilometers far from Skopje, and from Gevgelija to Skopje it is 30 times less, or 170 kilometers. It is not a problem for our MPs from other towns in Macedonia to pay for this destination almost the same amount that Macedonian citizens would spend for a flight to Dubai. For less than a year, only for the first 11 months of 2014, about 1 million Euros were paid for travel expenses of MPs, and their privileges have recently been enriched with the right to use higher wages for travelling abroad.   Under the new regulations for 2015, 50% will...

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