Zoran Zaev is standing by his right hand man Dragi Raskovski who faces allegations of corruption, and promised to protect him from the allegations of racism as well. In the audio tape of Raskovski that was leaked by the Expres news site, he is heard comparing Italians to “Gypsies”, making an unfavorable comparison between Italians and Germans, and discussing the inferiority of southern races.

Zaev said that he will send a letter of apology to Italian authorities because of the incident.

He clearly apologized. Today my foreign policy adviser Dane Talevski met with the Italian Ambassador Carlo Romeo. I will send a personal letter of apology because it is a painful feeling to hear a high representative of the Government speak like that. Italiy and the Italian people are our proven friends. Also the Roma community, which is something I put the most attention in the political structures I come from at the moment, Zaev said today.

A number of journalists and commentators called on Raskovski to resign because of his comments and that the corruption allegations are investigated with all seriousness.