Hours after Government spokesman Muhamed Hoxha said that the issue of work permits for the arriving Afghan refugees will be examined in the coming days, the Government issued a retraction. Instead of clarifying what Hoxha said, the Government blamed the opposition of spreading misinformation and hate speech.
That is not true. We strongly denounce such misinformation. The Government is focused on providing accommodation, healthcare and food for the peaceful population of Afghanistan, the statement said.
But earlier in the day, Hoxha said that the issue of work permits for the refugees will be examined in the coming days. This prompted reaction in the country, with opposition officials pointing to the dire economic situation and the rising unemployment, noting that Macedonia is not in a position to accept a large number of refugees. While most European countries are taking only a token number of Afghans, Macedonia quickly joined Albania and Kosovo and offers to take up to 1,800.