President Stevo Pendarovski responded to the dismal corruption report issued by Transparency International in which Macedonia was ranked 111th in the world by saying “it is not pretty”. Unlike the Government, Pendarovski said that he will not try to offer excuses. Zaev’s Government tried to defend its awful track record on fighting corruption by claiming that the report measures merely “perception of corruption”, but after the US Embassy also raised the issue in a critical tone, the Government backed off.

Last year we were 105th, which is equally bad. The report measures the perception of the business community, a portion of the citizens and experts who follow such things. If we were 105th last year, we can’t make some drastic improvement or drop. It’s not a pretty fact for the efforts we are making as a country. I’m not making excuses, Pendarovski said.

The Zaev regime is engulfed in numerous corruption scandals, which largely remain uninvestigated by prosecutors. Meanwhile, its point person in what was supposed to be a campaign to fight crime and corruption – Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva – is now herself sentenced to seven years in prison after her gross corruption and abuse of office was exposed in 2019.