The latest US State Department report confirms that Zoran Zaev has dragged Macedonia to the bottom, and mired it in crime and corruption, said VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Vladimir Misajlovski. The report, published yesterday, notes corruption among Government officials, and selective targeting of crimes.

Zoran Zaev has captured our country, its judiciary and its institutions. This Government is operating like a mafia. This is the most negative report the State Department has issued us, and it reflects the miserable reality of corruption, nepotism and conflict of interests in public procurement, as well as the brazenly selective actions of the judiciary which only goes after the small fry, Misajlovski said.

The report finds that “Macedonia has laws intended to counter bribery, abuse of official position, and conflicts-of-interest, and government officials and their close relatives are legally required to disclose their income and assets. However, enforcement of anti-corruption laws has at times been weak and selectively targeted government critics and low-level offenders. There have been credible allegations of corruption in law enforcement, the judiciary, and many other sectors… Transparency International ranked North Macedonia 111th out of 180 countries in the 2020 Corruption Perceptions Index, a drop of 5 places, for a lack of government efforts to combat corruption and conflict of interest in public administration. The resulting public disappointment and pressure over the high index score, in part, triggered the Deputy Prime Minister for Anti-Corruption to introduce a Code of Ethics for members of the government and all other officials appointed by the government, under which they must commit to transparent and responsible work… Many businesses operating in (North) Macedonia, including some U.S. businesses, identified corruption as a problem in government tenders and in the judiciary, the 2021 report notes.

Mijsalovski also pointed that the report criticizes the practice of rushing laws abusing a procedure meant to align Macedonian laws with those of the EU countries.

Our strategic partners note the abuse of the fast-track procedure in Parliament. VMRO-DPMNE has constantly fought against this practice and has spoken out against it. The report also observes that there are laws in place, but they are not being implemented, which is a problem for the businesses and the citizens, Misajlovski added.