In his push to promote the increase in the minimum wage to 300 EUR per month, Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski met with textile workers today. One of them, Poliko Avdiu, said that he actually returned from Germany to work in a textile mill in Macedonia for 18,000 denars – a statement that caused astonishment online.

I’m satisfied. I worked in Germany for 18 years and I left. My luck brought me here, in this company, eight years ago. The conditions are the same as in Germany. The young want to leave for Germany, but the life there is not what it used to be. I’m satisfied with the minimum wage and I’m grateful to the Prime Minister who found compromise with the unions and the employers. That evening I was very grateful to the Prime Minister. 18,000 is not much but it is enough for a modest life, Avdiu said.

Macedonia is facing tremendous emigration levels, as young and middle aged people leave primarily for Western Europe, escaping poverty and poor living conditions. Moving in the opposite direction is almost unheard of.