Government representatives made conflicting statements regarding the photo op move today, when the cast iron fence around the Government building was removed.

Zoran Zaev made a promise to remove the fence during the Colored Revolution his SDSM party began, when his supporters made several attempts to storm the Government building, and camped for months in front of it, after which the Nikola Gruevski Government decided to build the fence. Today the iron elements of the fence were removed, while the concrete pillars holding them were left as is.

Spokesman Mile Bosnjakovski insisted that the populist move is performed free of charge and will not cost the public anything, given that it was done by employees already working for the Government. But this raised questions over the Serta and Bapal companies, who are already hired to maintain the building – mainly its sanitation. Their employees were seen today wearing bright orange vests and slicing the metal fence from the pillars.

The contracts for the two companies are worth more than 7 million EUR in total. They include maintenance of the offices, elevators, sanitation facilities, the roof of the newly refurbished building and other services, but nothing is mentioned about construction or demolition services. This raised the issue about the actual cost of the PR move the Government performed today and Bosnjakovski would not respond to a Republika request to disclose the actual cost of the removal of the fence and the manner in which it was regulated with the Serta and Bapal companies.

Bosnjakovski insisted that the iron fence will be stored and its fate will be decided by the public. The future fate of the fence and of the remaining pillars, Bosnjakovski said, will be decided by the citizens. He did not elabore whether the Government intends to hold a poll, a referendum or some other form of direct democracy, to determine what next with the fence whose construction cost over 700.000 EUR.