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VMRO-DPMNE President Gruevski meets with EU, NATO Ambassadors, OSCE and ODIHR representatives

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VMRO-DPMNE President Nikola Gruevski and members from the party’s Executive Committee, met with the Ambassadors of the European Union and NATO countries in Macedonia, as well as with OSCE and ODIHR representatives on Tuesday. The meeting was held less than a month before the municipal elections, and Gruevski said that it was one of the topics of discussion.

“On the part of President Gruevski, it was pointed out that Macedonia’s strategic priority remains to join the European Union, and that here, the support of our European friends in order to move this process forward is very important. In the previous period, besides the stated commitment on the part of the Government, there was no fundamental move forward in the area of integration”, VMRO-DPMNE said in a press release issued following the meeting.

President Gruevski also pointed out to the troubling economic trends which, he said, deteriorate the living standards and create a worsening business atmosphere. Macedonia’s economy declined by 1,8 percent in the second quarter of 2017 and the average wage and industrial production were both down.

During the meeting, Gruevski pointed out the violation of laws during the dismissal and appointment of new Government officials. VMRO-DPMNE objected to the appointment being made in the pre-election period, when the law bans firing and promoting of public officials and employees. Gruevski also noted the number of corruption scandals related to the Government. For days, VMRO-DPMNE has asked for a criminal investigation in Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angjusev, after companies he owns won a public procurement contract, and were given the right to build on land they own.

“It was pointed that the Government needs to get engaged in securing a democratic atmosphere for the municipal elections. In this regard, the political retaliations and persecutions of city Mayors, and the negative rhetoric, do not contribute to building trust in the entire process. Strong concern was expressed over the initial attempts to intimidate or bribe voters on the part of SDSM”, VMRO-DPMNE added in its press release. Five Mayors elected on the VMRO-DPMNE ticket in 2013 are facing charges, some of them filed in the past few days and weeks.