if the contract with Bechtel is so favorable, as the Government claims, it would have released it on its own, said VMRO-DPMNE Vice President Aleksandar Nikoloski after a day of negotiations over how the controversial deal will be revealed to the public.
VMRO-DPMNE wants its members of Parliament, who have security clearances, to be allowed to review the integral document. The ruling DUI – SDSM coalition wants to “present” the document to the representatives, without actually giving them the document.
I see no other logic in the attempt to hide it – if it was good for the citizens, if it was really beneficial for the country, they would have released it themselves. But they are not doing that, and as we can all see, the Government is running away from its responsibility and wants to manipulate the public, Nikoloski said in an interview with the Macedonian Radio.
The opposition party received the contract through whistleblowers and already released details from it, including controversial clauses that Macedonia will have to pay penalties unless it greatly undermines worker protection laws or allows speedy expropriation of land and houses.
We are operating with the version of the contract that we received and it is disastrous. We will pay 53 million EUR in penalties or change the law on the work week extending it from 40 to 60 hours. It includes the payment of 120 million EUR in advance, before even a grain of sand has been poured, Nikoloski added.
VMRO-DPMNE demands that the contract is given to their MPs for at least 10 days, given that it is 500 pages long. In response, Parliament Speaker Talat Xhaferi convened the heads of the party groups in Parliament to discuss this issue, but VMRO-DPMNE abstained. Xhaferi offered to VMRO to propose the creation of a committee that will review the document.