A major fire broke out yesterday evening in the Global shopping mall in Strumica. There are no casualties but serious damage was inflicted on the shops.

The fire started on the ground floor and then spread upwards. At least ten stores were burnt down, as well as much of the marketplace. Mayor Kosta Janevski said that the city received help from Radovis fire-fighting crews to control the blaze, and it took hours for them to put the fire out.

My store is completely burnt, I lost 20,000 EUR worth of goods, one shopkeeper told the local Vis TV station.

The mall was at the center of one of the earliest corruption scandals involving Zoran Zaev, who, as Mayor of Strumica, approved its construction. In 2008 Zaev was charged with violating laws on public – private partnership when he signed a contract to give publicly owned land to a private company owned by his business partner to build the mall, greatly underestimating the value of the land that as given as part of the deal. Zaev received a pardon from then President Branko Crvenkovski for the charges.