Following PM Kovachevski request for property audit of all Customs and PRO employees, the managers of these institutions announced stricter  controls. The trade unions assesses the PM’s request – at a time when strikes for higher salaries have already started – as threat and a pressure on them.

“The Public Revenues Office (PRO) has a legal responsibility to conduct special actions concerning properties with no clear origin, which doesn’t exclude the PRO employees”, Sonja Lukarevska, PRO General Manager stated on Friday.

Enraged after the country’s elected and commissioned officials raised their salaries by 78%, and the administration of the Ministry of Finance  – controlling both institutions – got a 30% raise, the Customs and PRO employees started a partial strike (two hours a day), threatening a General Strike on June 27, which could completely block the entire country. Instead of negotiating, PM Kovachevski required an audit of all employees’ property.

“I think that if we apply the audit, it will raise the transparency of the institutions, they will gain on social weight and credibility, because if they have nothing to hide, they have no reason not to support this action. I – and my party – support the vetting process, but it should be applied to all officials in the country, not only the elected and commissioned  ones “, PM Kovachvski said, adding that he will wait for the audit results, and only then negotiate the salaries.

The concerned trade unions characterized the PM statements as threats and pressuring, because exactly these  employees will be commissioned to carry out the audit of the politicians’ property.

In that context, the largest opposition party VMRO-DPMNE asked the PM if – regarding all corruption affairs related to him – his statements mean that we have to reduce PM’s salary, too, and for what amount.

“Trying to hide the lack of courage to start the process of vetting the officials from his coalition with these statements, it seems that PM Kovachevski is also pressuring the employees to change their minds and give up protesting for their legal rights”, VMRO-DPMNE spokesperson Marija Miteva said.

Esteemed Law Professor Mirjana Najchevska called PM’s proposal “a political perversity”.

“Instead of investigating the property origin of the DUI mafia, they fire the typewriters. Instead of indicting everyone who violated the laws for personal gains (for which there are clear and indicative audit reports), they are trying to scare low level employees. What a political perversity! As I’ve said so many times, we need a technocratic government that will return these pests back under the rocks from where they crawled out 30 years ago”, the Law Professor wrote.