Zoran Zaev defended his outgoing Finance Minister Dragan Tevdovski, who turned out to be the highest profile victim of his purge. Zaev assumed Tevdovski’s place himself, but insists that the left wing economy professor is not being kicked out because of anything he did.

He performed the most important reforms, increased the minimum wage, cut the TV tax and provided finances. But I’m entering into a phase where I, personally, as a politician who was given a mandate from the citizens, expressed through the Parliament, to form a Government, want to realize my program. Just as the welfare payments were increased, we will do additional bold steps, very determined steps and it will be my pride and responsibility to undertake them, and to have serious effects in increasing the minimum wage with these brave and decisive steps, Zaev said during a Sitel TV interview.

Zaev also announced that he will be firing 200 officials across all levels of his administration, and that this phase of the purge will be finished by the beginning of July. He said that a lot of anger was aimed at the local SDSM party officials, and that they will be the next target of his purge.