Foreign Minister Bujar Osmani announced that the Government will not abandon a controversial law that was going to mean an automatic criminal investigation for any person put on a US black list.

The US Embassy in Skopje and the State Department began to use the black list to point officials from the previous Government, but also, unusually, from SDSM and DUI. The Mayor of Struga Ramiz Merko, who is influential in DUI, was put on the list, while former SDSM leader Zoran Zaev was “casually mentioned”. In one of his first moves after being appointed as interim Prime Minister, Talat Xhaferi withdrew the proposed law that was seen as unacceptable by the Justice Ministry.

But after a meeting between Xhaferi and US Ambassador Aggeler, Minister Osmani said that the law is back on the agenda. The original version included two provisions – that the person or company on a US black list will be banned from running for a political office in Macedonia and will not be able to compete for public contracts. In the amended version, these decisions will be dependent on a court order. It’s unlikely that the law will be applied retroactively.