Transcripts from a meeting of the Macedonian Government held earlier this week reveal that, as part of the implementation of the Albanian language law, an inspection will be formed which will determine whether Government employees and institutions are using the language in official capacity.

The controversial law, which was adopted by the Parliament but not signed by President Ivanov who found it to be unconstitutional, goes beyond the provisions of the 2001 Ohrid peace treaty and orders the official use of the Albanian language even in parts of Macedonia where Albanians are below 20 percent. It provides for financial fines for both public sector employees and institutions which do not obey the law, meaning that an employee living in a part of the country with few Albanians, can be fined for not speaking the language.

The Justice Ministry is ordered to prepare a draft law in 15 days which will regulate the creation of an inspection office on the use of languages, is a provision revealed from the transcripts.

Under the provisions of the Ohrid framework treaty, which were included in the Constitution, the Albanian language and other minority languages are in official use only in the municipalities where this ethnic community makes up at least 20 percent of the population. But, expanding this provision was one of the key requests made by the ethnic Albanian parties to get them to agree to support Zoran Zaev’s Government in 2017, after VMRO-DPMNE refused to sign up to introducing full bilingualism in Macedonia. A costly translation office is also expected to be set up to provide translations of all communication with the central Government.