SDSM party leader Zoran Zaev acknowledged that the shortfall in the budget could amount to 60 percent – over two billion EUR. The coronavirus epidemic led to a dramatic drop in economic activity and in order to reduce the expected deficit, Zaev proposed putting the entire public administration on the minimum wage for two months – a move that was sharply criticized given that it would exacerbate the economic downturn.

The measure we propose may not be enough. We will have a deficit of about 2 billion and 200 million euros, that’s 60 percent of the budget, Zaev said.

The opposition VMRO-DPMNE party is calling for 600 million EUR in loans and tapping 400 million more in state bonds, to support the worst hit private sector industries.