President Stevo Pendarovski, in hot water over his comment advising the young people of Macedonia to leave the country, today tried to diffuse blame and called on all political parties to apologize to the public for the high emigration rate.

There is no one political party in this country, not one President or Prime Minister, from the 90ies on-wards, who can say he had major results in reducing the negative trend lines in this area. If somebody thinks that it is bad under this party, while under his party things were not as bad, he is wrong. Let’s not lie to the people and the citizens, Pendarovski said.

A major electoral promise of Pendarovski’s and Zaev’s SDSM party was that they will not only stop emigration, but will bring back those young people who already left the country.

Pendarovski today insisted that his comments were in the context of the betrayed EU promise. “I said that, if they won’t let us open the chapters in the talks that will last for years and years, and we are yet to receive the methodology under which we will negotiate and we don’t know what it will be, whether it will further protract and complicate the process, and if you have a young man and tell him to wait for 20 to 30 years and live on 400 to 500 EUR, what young man would agree to waste his one life?”, Pendarovski said.