European Union Commissioner Johannes Hahn is expected to visit Macedonia next week, as a major criminal scandal engulfs Zoran Zaev’s Government.

The Commission, which strongly supported the Zaev Government and its request to open EU accession talks in June, was hoping to build a positive case in time for the European Council in October, when the issue of the accession talks will be re-examined. One of the requests made in this regard was that Macedonia must adopt a law making the office ran by Special Prosecutor Katica Janeva a permanent feature.

But, since the June European Council, Special Prosecutor Janeva resigned after allegations that she was abusing her office to extort money from businessmen she threatened with criminal charges. Top officials of the SDSM party are also suspected of being involved in the criminal enterprise that was collecting millions of euros, and Prime Minister Zoran Zaev is called out to explain his close relationship with Janeva.