Deputy Prime Minister Koco Angusev sought to downplay the hit Macedonian steel industry will endure under the European Union imposed tariffs, which will slap 25 percent to the cost of the exports.

Angusev dismissed criticism from VMRO-DPMNE Vice-President Aleksandar Nikoloski, who said that for all the talk about good personal ties with European leaders, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev and his team were unable to deflect the imposition of the tariffs. Angusev says that only Skopje based steel producer Makstil will be affected by the tariffs, adding that the “company already had several bad years prior to the tariffs”.

According to Angusev, EU will still allow Macedonia to export roughly the same amount of steel it did in the previous years, and teh tariffs will be imposed only on the quantities over these levels.

Nikoloski warned that the steel trade war can cost Macedonia as much as 200 million EUR per year, while the Government acknowledged that it expects costs of about 100 million EUR.