Northern Macedonia (until 2019 Macedonia). An ongoing
political crisis with power struggles and deep mistrust of
the government worsened at the beginning of the year when a
major scandal scandal was revealed. Social Democratic
opposition leader Zoran Zaev said there was evidence that
Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the intelligence service
had illegally intercepted around 20,000 politicians,
journalists and other public figures. According to
COUNTRYAAH, Zaev himself was
accused of trying to overthrow the government and was
deprived of his passport. As the opposition began to publish
the evidence, criticism against Gruevski and the
Conservative government grew. In recorded conversations,
leading politicians were heard discussing, among other
things, how to cheat in elections and govern the judiciary.
In April, some 40 Kosovo Albanians temporarily occupied a
police station near the Kosovo border and made Albanian
nationalist demands on an Albanian state. The opposition
accused the government of being behind the attack, in order
to divert attention from the crisis.
A few weeks later, a police raid in the city of Kumanovo
led to a fire that claimed the lives of eight policemen and
ten Kosovo Albanians. About 30 people were arrested and
charged with terrorism.
A publicized recording of a 22-year-old murders led to
over 50,000 people attending a protest rally in May, the
largest in the country's history, and protesters camped in
the capital, Skopje, demanding fresh elections. Two
ministers and the head of the intelligence service resigned,
but the demands that Gruevski should go also remained. The
EU expressed great concern about the situation and the
increasingly authoritarian development in the country.
But after EU-led talks, the government and opposition
agreed to hold new elections in April 2016 and eventually
Gruevski promised to resign as early as January. In
September, the opposition broke its 15-month boycott of
parliamentary work as part of the settlement.
During the autumn, the influx of refugees on their way
from Greece to Northern Europe grew, until several thousand
a day entered the country. On several occasions, unrest
erupted and state of emergency was introduced at the
borders. In November, just over 100,000 people passed
through the country. At the end of the month, Macedonia
followed the example of other countries and began to build a
fence at the Greek border. Only refugees from Syria, Iraq
and Afghanistan were then released.