With his EU agenda in tatters, and the handling of the coronavirus ranked even worse due to the sky high death rate and the Tetovo hospital disaster, Zoran Zaev turned to a new talking point for the end of the local election campaign – the economy. In his remarks in Butel in Skopje today, Zaev ignored the rising cost of living and inflation, and boasted about the effects of the foreign manufacturing investments – the vast majority of which were drawn under Nikola Gruevski’s term.
We have more than 40 foreign investments who opened more than 70,000 jobs. Unemployment fell from 25 percent to 15.9 percent. And the wages are growing despite the pandemic, Zaev insisted – critics say that the loss of about 60,000 largely low paying jobs during the pandemic led to the boost in the medium wage.
Zaev used the rally to discuss the one significant foreign investment of his term that was just announced – the plan by a German company to build an electricity wind park with 69 windmills. According to Zaev, this will be worth nearly half a billion EUR and will generate about half of the energy produced by Macedonia’s only serious energy producer – the failing REK Bitola coal plant.