Finance Minister Fatmir Besimi said that the Government will try to reduce the huge deficit it plans for next year by selling off a number of fully or partially publicly owned companies. Most iconic among them is the Macedonian Post Office, whose sale was already announced by Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
The Post Office is in serious trouble after the collapse of the Eurostandard Bank, which had an exclusive contract to conduct financial transfers and payments through the many postal branches. After the bank collapsed, due to suspicious approval of loans to companies based in Zoran Zaev’s stronghold of Strumica, the Prime Minister said that the best solution would be to have a new, much broader public – private partnership contract with a different bank, which is likely to result in its sale.
Other companies which Besimi said could be sold off are the freight and passenger divisions of the Macedonian Railways, the Prilep tobacco company, Eurokompozit – also a Prilep based manufacturer of military equipment and OHIS – the long defunct chemical plant in Skopje which sits on a huge plot of potentially valuable land. The sale of the oil fired power plant TEC Negotino is already under way.
Besimi announced a deficit of over 600 million EUR, and that is if revenue projections, that were widely off the mark in 2020, hold.