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Northern Macedonia

Yearbook 2015

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.

2015 Northern Macedonia

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.

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