Former Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska – Milevska, who voted with the ruling majority in favor of renaming the country, denied that she was blackmailed, or that her vote was given in expectation of amnesty. She appeared before court today in a corruption case started against her by the Special Prosecutors Office, over the construction of the Victims of Communism Museum.

I would not accept a blackmail and would not allow anybody to blackmail me over something I believe is in the highest national interest. Everybody who knows me knows very well that I act after careful analysis of the situation, and in this case after a careful analysis of what the country needs. We need national consensus for NATO and EU integration, said Kanceska – Milevska, who was one of the most protested against ministers in the former VMRO-DPMNE Government, largely over the work of the Ministry to redesigning much of downtown Skopje.

Nine former VMRO-DPMNE members of Parliament voted in favor of renaming Macedonia. Three of them negotiated amnesty for charges of “terrorism”, and several more, including Kanceska – Milevska, were reportedly negotiating pardons for corruption charges, as they began promoting the idea that joining NATO and opening EU accession talks is worth giving up the name of the country is worth. The ruling majority introduced changes to the Criminal Code which would possibly allow Kanceska – Milevska to avoid prison time.