Justice Minister Bojan Maricic joined in the threats Zaev regime officials are aiming at citizens who refuse to participate in the census. There is widespread public anxiety over the census that begins this weekend, as Macedonia is in the midst of a huge coronavirus wave.

There are fines in place for those who refuse to admit the census takers. Still, as a Government, we don’t want to resort to that, Maricic said.

Zaev is under pressure from his Albanian coalition partners to hold a census that would inflate the number of Albanians, by counting their large diaspora among the residents. He accepted demands from the opposition VMRO-DPMNE to postpone the census from April to September, to avoid the large spring wave of the illness, but now Zaev insists that, despite the new wave, the operation will take place.