VMRO-DPMNE is calling on the Government to answer a number of questions about the import of petroleum coke and chemically treated textile, meant for burning. The party is pointing to the high quantities of these fuels that are being imported, although they are clearly unsafe.

Zoran Zaev and the oligarchic businessmen supported by his Government are poisoning the citizens. Companies close to the Government are allowed to burn coke and rubber. Skopje is suffocating each and every day. The Government needs to answer which companies were allowed, and by whom, to burn bales of colored textile and petroleum coke which contains 18 percent sulphur. The poisonous air spreads everywhere and results in serious health issues. For some, this some means profits, and for others it leads to diseases, said VMRO spokesman Naum Stoilkovski.

He did not name companies that were allegedly involved, but his press conference comes as the USJE cement factory was alleged to use unsafe fuels, a charge which the plant denies.

According to Stoilkovski, Macedonia is clearly importing junk from across the world, and is using it as fuel.

Burning these amounts of waste can’t happen without Zaev and Mayor Silegov knowing about it. Since February, more than 40.000 tons of petroleum coke were imported by eight companies and then burnt. We call on Zaev to tell us if his Customs Office is allowing the import of petroleum coke with 18 percent sulphur content, instead of the allowed coke with 2 percent suplhur. Tell us how many trucks of chopped up old tires and rubber, colored textiles and other junk were imported in Macedonia?, Stoilkovski asked.

Macedonia is in the midst of the winter air pollution season, when Skopje and other cities regularly top world charts of most polluted cities. Most of the PM10 particle pollution is believed to come from heating homes with coal and wood, but the air mix also includes toxic materials.