Zoran Zaev denied reports that his Labour and Welfare Minister Mila Carevska is about to resign due to her conflict with his key Albanian coalition partner DUI. Kacarska revealed abuse in the public PIOM retirement fund, ran by DUI officials, and no sooner was that issue covered up between the coalition partners, she is now proposing changes in the payment of welfare which may affect ethnic Albanian families.

Zaev denied that the new way of indexing welfare payments will disproportionately affect Albanians, and said that Carovska will remain in her post.

The right to receive welfare applies to households. Albanian citizens traditionally live in larger families, with their cousins, in the same household. We needed to return to the definition of a family of a father, mother and the children. This was agreed today and the law will be sent to procedure, Zaev said, insisting that the differences with DUI are being ironed out, as the two parties are also pushing for a joint presidential candidate in Stevo Pendarovski.

Carovska comes from far left NGO organization, and is at the fore-front in redefining marriage, family ties and relaxing abortion regulation in Macedonia, but her push is at odds with the more conservative Albanian population, whose votes are important to Zaev’s coalition Government.