VMRO-DPMNE President Hristijan Mickoski accused the Government of using PR tricks to shift the blame for the unprecedented spike in the coronavirus epidemic, blaming it on the opposition or on the citizens, in order to distract from the failure of the policies that were put in place. Mickoski was exposed to a police raid for sitting at a wrong table in a restaurant yesterday, which was clearly an attempt by the Government to find a scapegoat for the dramatic deterioration in public healthcare.

The people gave unlimited support to the Government. But they will also punish you if you don’t do your job. You can’t blame the people now using the usual PR tricks. We are losing lives, families are going through tragedies, and responsibility must be taken. We were the first country to enter into the crisis and now our neighbors are done and beginning to work on economic recovery while we are not out yet. The Government had unlimited credit in the public, and felt so self-assured. They should’ve asked for help, Mickoski said during a TV21 interview.

He said that the current long, three day lockdown in Skopje and several other large cities during the Pentecost weekend is another failed policy. All afternoon, tens of thousands of cars full of people left Skopje for the tourist resorts and the smaller towns as families fled for areas that will have more a relaxed curfew during the weekend, which also increased the threat of spreading the virus through the entire country.

I can’t blame the crisis on the citizens. That is what politicians used to do here in the past, to say that the public is wrong. We see them now try to blame the opposition, me, Minister Nake Culev, but they never see any blame in themselves, Mickoski added.

The opposition leader also strongly criticized the practice of placing the public under lockdown during the religious holidays, such as the current lockdown for Pentecost, when the Christians traditionally visit the graves of their loved ones. “We should’ve found a different way to approach the issue and we made our proposals but unfortunately they were ignored. I don’t support what is being done, either to the Christians or to the Muslims”, Mickoski said.