Macedonia

Croatian, Montenegrin, Serbian reporters back striking Macedonian colleagues

Trade unions of journalists from Croatia, Montenegro and Serbia on Friday expressed their support to their Macedonian colleagues working for three daily newspapers owned by Media Print Makedonija (MPM) who have been on strike since mid-February over unpaid salaries and contributions and the management's failure to provide them with information about plans for the company's survival.

EU's Hahn urges Macedonia's feuding leaders to form government

European Union Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn visited Skopje on Thursday and urged feuding Macedonian leaders to form a new government two months after snap elections.

Frontex officers begin patrolling Greek-Macedonian border

Officers from European border agency Frontex have begun patrolling the border between Greece and Macedonia, Frontex said Friday.

Macedonia's political crisis deepens as coalition talks falter

Macedonia's protracted political crisis is set to continue after the nationalist VRMO party on Friday refused to negotiate with its only possible coalition partner.

Macedonian election score remains unchanged after repeat poll

The around 700 voters registered in the Macedonian village Tearci who were eligible to cast their ballots in a repeat of December 11 parliamentary polls could have changed the outcome of the elections - but did not.

Repeat vote in village may alter outcome of Macedonian elections

Macedonian authorities on Wednesday ordered a repeat vote at a single polling station which may swing the outcome of December 11 parliamentary elections.

Macedonian opposition seeks to overturn election result

Macedonia's opposition Social Democratic Union (SDSM) Tuesday filed complaints about voting irregularities in Sunday's election in a bid to overturn a slim victory by its rivals from the nationalist VMRO party.

Macedonia's nationalists set to continue decade-long reign

Macedonia's nationalist leader Nikola Gruevski on Monday appeared on the verge of wrestling a razor-thin win for his VMRO party from the hands of the Social Democratic (SDSM) opposition in snap elections.

Macedonia's conservative VMRO-DPMNE party wins 37.96% of vote, SDSM 36.65%

Macedonia's conservative VMRO-DPMNE party won 37.96% of votes in Sunday's parliamentary elections while opposition Social Democrats won 36.65%, the State Election Commission reported on Monday morning.

Macedonian natinoalist VMRO party leads in early ballot count

Macedonia's nationalist VMRO party was leading the opposition Social Democratic Union (SDSM) in early counting after Sunday's snap parliamentary election.

Voting ends in snap Macedonian parliamentary elections

Voting ended Sunday amid a late explosion of interest in Macedonia's snap parliamentary elections seen as crucial to ending months of political paralysis and steering the country back on a course toward EU membership.

Macedonia holds elections seen as crucial to ending political turmoil

Macedonia was holding snap parliamentary elections on Sunday seen as crucial to ending months of political paralysis and steering the country back on a course toward EU membership.

Prodded by EU, Macedonia seeks to end deep crisis with snap poll

In Sunday's snap poll, longtime conservative Macedonian premier Nikola Gruevski wants to continue the decade-long dominance of his VMRO party and return to office, but Social Democratic Union (SDSM) head Zoran Zaev wants to kick the party out and prove that Gruevski is corrupt.

S&P: Ratings for most ex-Yugoslav republics lower than 25 yrs ago

In a report called "The Former Yugoslav Republics 25 Years After The Fall of Yugoslavia. Where Are They Now?" Standard&Poor's Global Ratings (S&P) said that most of the countries have ratings in the 'B' or 'BB' category, excluding Slovenia (A/Stable).

Macedonian police say Islamist attacks foiled

Macedonian police said on Thursday that Islamist terror attacks had been foiled as they announced the arrest of two citizens in a wider regional crackdown, AFP reported.

Prague sends police to help Serbia, Macedonia stop migrants at border

The Czech Republic on Monday deployed 55 police officers to Serbia and Macedonia to block migrants from making their way north to the European Union.

Macedonian elections set for December 11

Macedonia's parliament Tuesday set December 11 as the date for elections, local media reported.

Italy leave it late for 3-2 win at Macedonia

Ciro Immobile struck twice to lead Italy's rally in a 3-2 win at Macedonia Sunday to keep the Azzurri level on points with leaders Spain in their World Cup qualification group.

Pressure of illegal migrants on Serbian-Bulgarian border growing, says official

The pressure of illegal migrants trying to enter Serbia across its eastern border from Bulgaria, in the areas of Negotin and Dimitrovgrad, has increased in the last two weeks, a spokesman for joint Serbian army and police forces patrolling the border with Macedonia and Bulgaria said on Thursday.

About 50 people injured in Macedonia earthquake

An earthquake measuring 5.3 on the Richter scale struck an area just outside Macedonia's capital Skopje on Sunday, leaving about 50 people injured, local Sitel TV reported.

Small plane crashes near Skopje, killing all six people on board

A private German-registered small airplane flying from Italy to Kosovo crashed Tuesday in Macedonia, killing all six passengers and crew.

Albania defeat Macedonia in World Cup qualifier

Albania defeated Macedonia 2-1 Tuesday in a football World Cup qualifier which had been abandoned the previous evening after a heavy rainstorm.

Three Balkan states claim link to world's newest saint Mother Theresa

Albania, Macedonia and Kosovo have warmly welcomed Pope Francis' recognition of Mother Teresa as a saint on Sunday, with all three Balkan countries claiming links to the iconic nun.

Macedonia gets caretaker cabinet to guide it through elections

Feuding Macedonian parties on Friday backed a caretaker cabinet tasked with governing until elections in December, which were called to end a potential dangerous political crisis.

Macedonian parties agree to December 11 elections

Macedonia's four major parties agreed late Wednesday to long-delayed parliamentary elections for December 11, which would end a political crisis that has stretched for a year and a half.

Turkey extradites five Macedonians trying to join Islamic State

Turkey extradited five Macedonian nationals arrested for planning to join the terrorist Islamic state, the Interior Ministry in Skopje said Saturday.

FM: Croatia will cooperate in preventing flood of refugees

"That cooperation ( Slovenia, Serbia, Macedonia) contributed to calming the (migrant) wave," Kovac told reporters, commenting on a possible scenario of a new refugee crisis in Croatia if the EU-Turkey agreement fails.

Croatian FM signs book of condolence at Macedonian embassy

Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac on Tuesday visited the Macedonian Embassy in Zagreb and signed a book of condolence, expressing his sympathy with the Macedonian people and the families of those killed in a freak deluge which hit Skopje on Saturday, claiming at least 22 lives.

Severe storm kills 20 in Macedonia, 1,000 people rescued

A severe thunderstorm that dumped torrential rain on the Macedonian capital, Skopje, has killed at least 20 people, Deputy Health Minister Nikola Todorov said Sunday.

Macedonia inches towards snap polls with purge of tainted voter roll

Macedonian authorities on Tuesday began purging the electoral rolls, a step towards the already twice-delayed early polls agreed to a year ago as the way out of a crippling political crisis.

Macedonian political parties agree on steps towards early elections 

Macedonia's four major political parties have agreed to a series of measures that would pave the way for early elections, though a date has yet to be chosen, media outlets reported Thursday.

Paris hosting summit on EU integration of Western Balkans

The leaders of six European Union and six Western Balkan countries will meet in Paris on Monday for the 3rd Berlin Process summit, which was launched two years ago so that countries in Southeast Europe could draw closet to EU membership through regional cooperation.

Dozens of migrants found in truck in Greece headed for Macedonia

Greek police arrested a Slovenian truck driver, who was planning to bring 35 migrants, including children, in a hollow compartment of a truck to the Macedonian border.

EU warns Macedonia elections may not meet international standards

Elections in Macedonia scheduled for June could fail to win international recognition due to an opposition boycott, a spokeswoman for the European Union warned Tuesday.

Macedonia ruling alliance partner joins opposition election boycott

A junior partner in Macedonia's ruling alliance on Wednesday joined the opposition's boycott of the June 5 elections, that were called early in line with an EU agreement.

Migrants seek new routes into Balkans

After weeks stranded at a closed border in northern Greece, migrants and refugees are seeking out new, irregular routes to get into Macedonia, clambering through forests and over hills under the cover of darkness, Reuters reported.

Dozens of migrants break through Macedonian border

Several dozen migrants managed to illegally cross from Greece into Macedonia on Saturday, a border that has been shut since February, AFP reported.

New EU-brokered talks to resolve Macedonia crisis cancelled

The European Union's attempt to broker fresh talks between feuding Macedonian parties this week have failed after one of the parties withdrew from the planned meeting, negotiators in Brussels confirmed Thursday.

Macedonian opposition wants pardon revoked, polls paused for EU talks

Macedonian opposition leader Zoran Zaev said Wednesday he will not take part in EU-brokered talks with the ruling nationalist Nikola Gruevski unless a blanket pardon of corrupt politicians is revoked and elections pushed back, media reports said.

Macedonia confirms June elections despite opposition's boycott threat

Macedonia formally scheduled early elections for June 5, despite growing turmoil and pressure from the opposition for a delay in the interest of a fair vote.

Third night of violent protests against pardons in Macedonian capital

Pro-opposition demonstrators in increasingly volatile Macedonia protested Thursday in Skopje for a third consecutive night at President Gorge Ivanov's blanket pardon of politicians accused of corruption and illegal wiretapping.

Croatian president visits Macedonia; migrant route remains closed

Grabar-Kitarovic stressed that the migrants wanted to travel to Germany and other countries in Western Europe and nowhere else. "The EU must take a clear stance, shape its migrant policy and accept migrants entitled to asylum, who are actually war refugees," 

Macedonia's political crisis deepens with president's mass pardon

The president of Macedonia pardoned all politicians implicated in a massive corruption and illegal wiretapping scandal, in a surprise move Tuesday that shocked the opposition and triggered protests.

Grabar-Kitarovic says Macedonia deserves much stronger EU support

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic said in Skopje on Tuesday that according to her information, the situation on the Macedonian-Greek border was worrying and that Skopje deserved "much stronger support" from the European Union.

Macedonia blames NGOs, Greece blasts Macedonia over Idomeni violence

Macedonia on Monday accused non-governmental aid organizations of inciting migrants to provoke incidents from the Greek side of the border where they have been stranded for nearly two months.

Doctors Without Borders: At least 260 injured in Idomeni

The situation was extremely tense this morning, when tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades were used in Idomeni camp to disperse crowds. 

Macedonian police fire tear gas at migrants on Greek border

Macedonian police used tear gas Sunday to prevent hundreds of migrants from breaking across the border from Greece, the Macedonian interior ministry said.

Report: Macedonian police fire tear gas at migrants on Greek border

Macedonian police used tear gas and stun grenades against hundreds of refugees and migrants who attempted to cross into the country from the Idomeni camp on the other side of the border in Greece, the Athens daily Kathimerini reported.

Macedonian Opposition says will boycott election

Macedonia's biggest opposition party has pledged to boycott an early parliamentary election, a move that would stall an EU-brokered deal to end months of political deadlock.

Croatia and Macedonia could appear together on third markets - ambassador

After conducting talks with Sisak Mayor Kristina Ikic Banicek, Karagjozoska visited the county chamber of commerce where she met with entrepreneurs and informed them of business conditions in Macedonia and of possible investment opportunities.

Athens: Fewer migrants crossing to Greece from Turkey

The flow of migrants and refugees from Turkey to Greece is slowing, Greek authorities said Saturday, as they also announced details of people being returned to Turkey.

Grabar-Kitarovic and Ivanov discuss incident on Macedonia-Greece border

Croatian President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarovic and her Macedonian counterpart Gjorge Ivanov spoke on the phone on Thursday about an incident that had occurred on the Macedonian-Greek border on Monday, when several hundred migrants attempted to cross the border into Macedonia and three drowned in a river, the Croatian President's Office said in a statement.

Macedonia returns breakaway migrants to Greece

Macedonian authorities returned hundreds of migrants to Greece on Tuesday, one day after they set out from the Idomeni refugee camp and walked around a fence that Macedonia had erected to keep them out.

Macedonia returns migrants to Greece after "illegal" border crossing

Hundreds of migrants were back in Greece Tuesday, returned by Macedonian authorities a day after they left a refugee camp in Greece and crossed the sealed border.

Macedonian police to return migrants after hundreds breach border

Macedonia's police and army were "taking steps" to return a crowd of migrants from the Greek refugee camp Idomeni and enhance security after they "illegally" crossed the sealed border on Monday, the Interior Ministry said.

2,000 migrants wade through river at sealed Greece-Macedonia border

Around 2,000 people from the Greek refugee camp in Idomeni on Monday waded through the river where three migrants had drowned earlier that day, in a bid to reach the sealed Macedonian border.

Hundreds of migrants attempt push from Greece to Macedonia

Several hundred people have left the refugee camp in Idomeni, Greece, and are making a break for the border fence between Greece and Macedonia.

EP greets Montenegro's reform efforts, urges Macedonia to deal with political crisis

The European Parliament said on Thursday that Montenegro was making good progress on the road to the EU and that the EU should start accession talks with Macedonia if it held free and fair elections.

Ethnic Albanians, Orthodox clash over massive cross in Macedonia

Some policemen sustained injuries when Orthodox Christians clashed with ethnic Albanians in the Macedonian capital Skopje over the erection of a 55-metre-high metal cross, media reports said Saturday.

Pressure grows in Greece's overcrowded Idomeni camp

In the Greek border camp of Idomeni, thousands of refugees have been waiting for days to continue to Macedonia on their trek north to the wealthier countries of Europe. As the crowds grow and supplies dwindle, the migrants are reaching their breaking point.

Macedonia reopens border

Macedonia intermittently opened its border with Greece to approximately 300 Syrian and Iraqi refugees Wednesday, leaving about 10,000 more people camped on the Greek side, with more arriving daily, Greek police reported.

Macedonian police fire tear gas at migrants storming border fence

Macedonian police fired tear gas at hundreds of migrants after they stormed a metal fence along the border with Greece on Monday, as refugees were blocked from travelling between the two countries on the main route to Western Europe.

Report: Refugees storm Macedonian border fence

Hundreds of migrants, desperate after days of waiting to enter Macedonia from Greece, stormed the border fence at the village of Idomeni, Greek television reported on Monday.

More than 7,000 migrants stranded at Greece-Macedonia border

More than 7,000 migrants are in limbo at an overcrowded camp on the border of Greece and Macedonia, according to Greek officials and media reports on Monday.

Refugees occupy tracks near Greek-Macedonian border, protest closure

A group of migrants began a sit-in on Sunday along train tracks near the northern Greek town of Idomeni to protest Macedonia's decision to boost controls of its border to new refugees, according to Greek broadcaster Skai.

More than 5,000 refugees trapped at Macedonian-Greek border

More than 5,000 people were stuck at the Idomeni camp on Greece’s northern border with Macedonia on Saturday, when four Balkan states began to limit refugee arrivals, Greek police authorities reported.

Austria and Balkan states agree to reduce, police refugee flow

Austria and Western Balkan states agreed on Wednesday to dispatch police forces to border zones to slow the flow of migrants along the Balkan route.

Kurz: Countries must act till EU defines joint response

Countries must take their own measures until the European Union finds a common response to the migrant crisis, Austrian Foreign Minister Sebastian Kurz said in Vienna on Wednesday, ahead of a ministerial conference on the migrant crisis which brought together interior and foreign ministers from ten countries along the Balkan route, including Croatia.

Macedonia delays date of snap elections

Macedonian nationalist leader Nikola Gruevski bowed to Western pressure and agreed minutes before a deadline expired Tuesday at midnight to delay early parliamentary elections from April 24 to June 5.

UN accuses Austria and Balkan countries of migrant "chaos"

The new restrictions on migrants along the Balkan route are "creating chaos at several border points," the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) said on Tuesday expressing concern because of recent "restrictive practices" adopted by a number of European countries including Austria, Slovenia and Macedonia.

Greece running out of space to shelter migrants, aid agency says

Greek police removed hundreds of protesting migrants blocking a railroad border crossing, as concern grows that people pouring in from Turkey and running into a closed border may overwhelm the country's sheltering capacity.

Belgrade and Ljubljana exchanges join SEE Link

The agreement was signed at the Western Balkans Investment Summit in London organised by the EBRD and was attended by the prime ministers of Croatia, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia.

Greece to "need camps" as migrants mass between tightening borders

Thousands of migrants crowded the Greek border with Macedonia Monday as the Balkan countries they must traverse to reach wealthier parts of Europe pushed their gates further shut. 

Migrants mass in Greece as Balkan states tighten passage rules

Thousands of migrants, newly arrived in Greece from Turkey during the weekend, crowded the Athens port of Piraeus Monday, even as the Balkan countries they must traverse to reach wealthier parts of Europe pushed their gates further shut. 

Austria, Balkan states to coordinate migration at Wednesday meeting

Interior and foreign ministers from Western Balkan countries and Austria are set to gather Wednesday in Vienna to coordinate their increasingly restrictive border policies.

Interior minister wants Austria, Germany to take part in migrant profiling

Orepic told reporters he would discuss the matter with his Slovenian counterpart on Monday and travel to Vienna on February 24 and Brussels on the 25th to discuss problematic details.

Croatia notifies Serbia, Macedonia of stricter migrant reception criteria

The number of 2,500 migrants per day does not represent a problem when it comes to migrant reception in Croatia and their further transfer to Slovenia, given that this is how many migrants on average have entered Croatia per day over the past several weeks. 

Central Europe looks to Macedonia to clamp down on Balkan migrants

Central European states meet in Prague Monday with controversial plans to assist Macedonia in patrolling its border with Greece, as some EU-members look outside the bloc for ways to clamp down on migration flows.

The list of EU membership hopefuls

Seven countries are candidates or potential candidates for membership in the European Union. Iceland had once been on the list too, but withdrew its application last year.

Macedonia grateful to Croatia for help on border, says minister

Macedonia, which is facing a major refugee influx, is grateful to Croatia for its concrete assistance in border protection and refugee registration, Macedonian Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki said in Munich on Saturday.  

Central European countries to help Macedonia close border to migrants

Leaders of the four nations are expected to agree on helping Macedonia to block the migrants' path at its border with Greece when they meet in Prague on Monday.

Slovenia denies any deal on direct transfer of migrants from Macedonia to Austria

"Slovenian police have rejected claims by Croatian Police Commissioner Vlado Dominic that the countries on the Balkan migration route had agreed on direct train transports of refugees from Macedonia to Austria," the Slovenian news agency STA reported today.

Croatian border police sent to Macedonia to help with migrants

Orepic told reporters that together with their colleagues from Austria, Slovenia, Serbia and Macedonia, Croatian police officers would work on profiling migrants "to remove the many problems that have cropped up in that process."

Austrian FM: Macedonia cannot manage refugee crisis alone

Sarajevo is Kurz's first stop on his regional tour of Balkan states affected by the migrant crisis, however, his talks with his hosts in the Bosnia and Herzegovina capital were dominated by European integration and bilateral relations.

FM: Tighter controls on Macedonia-Greece border might be viable solution

Croatia supports the idea of stepping up controls on the Greece-Macedonia border if Greece is unable to control its border with Turkey, but that requires the consent of all EU member states, Croatian Foreign and European Affairs Minister Miro Kovac said on Saturday.

Croatian MEP establishes Friends of Macedonia group in EP

About 20 members of the European Parliament, led by Marijana Petir of Croatia, on Tuesday established an informal group, "Friends of Macedonia", to help that country to finally open EU accession talks, which have been blocked for ten years by Greece over its name.

Stricter controls cause migrant bottleneck in Greece

The crossing from Greece to Macedonia has turned into a bottleneck on the Balkan migration route, with around 2,000 people being held up under new admissions rules, Greek state radio reported Monday quoting police.

Macedonia back to square one as opposition boycotts key elections

Macedonia's opposition announced they will boycott early elections set for April that had been called for under an EU-brokered deal to defuse a potentially dangerous political crisis.

Macedonia imposes stricter border regime for migrants

Macedonia is the last country on the Balkan migrant route which on Wednesday imposed a stricter border regime for migrants en route to Western Europe.

Macedonian Prime Minister Gruevski resigns under EU-brokered deal

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski stepped down Friday under an EU-brokered agreement with the opposition, paving the way for early elections in April.

Macedonian Prime Minister Gruevski to resign under EU-brokered deal

Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski on Thursday announced his resignation under an EU-brokered agreement with the opposition, paving the way for early elections in April.

Balkan route became the new path to Europe in 2015

Of the 925,000 people who came by December 12, according to the International Organization for Migration, 771,500 took that path, from Turkey to Greece. 

Slovenian, Serbian, Macedonian and Greek police for stricter refugee control

Slovenia undertook to obtain greater support from EU members for that idea. The EU's external borders agency Frontex should also be involved in its implementation.

EU presses Greece over migrants, weighs Schengen threat

"It is not said officially, but there is pressure," Greek Migration Minister Yannis Mouzalas told reporters, denying a Financial Times report on Wednesday that Athens had, among other things, refused an EU offer of devices designed to share the identity data of incoming migrants around the bloc.

Police, migrants clash on the Macedonian-Greek border

The police responded with tear gas and stun grenades, driving the crowd back, a Reuters photographer at the scene said. Some officers threw stones. In a surge that began about 18 months ago, migrants have been flowing across Balkan borders, having landed by boat in Greece from Turkey. 

Macedonian army starts building fence on Greek border

Soldiers began driving long metal poles into the ground and rolling out wire, building a barrier similar to that erected by Hungary on its southern border with Serbia and Croatia 

EU sounds alarm as internal barriers rise in refugee crisis

Tens of thousands more migrants are stranded in Macedonia, Serbia and Croatia after Schengen zone countries further north built fences to seal their borders.

Greek - Macedonia border: Stranded migrants block railway, call hunger strike

One Iranian man, declaring a hunger strike, stripped to the waist, sewed his lips together with nylon and sat down in front of lines of Macedonian riot police.

Macedonia warns of 'security risk' over migrant bottleneck

Ivanov said there was a "high risk" of incidents between refugees and economic migrants, as well as between migrants and police and the local population.

Serbia, Macedonia start allowing in only Syrian, Iraqi and Afghan migrants

"As of 6 p.m. (1600 GMT) yesterday evening Serbia started turning back (to Macedonia) all but Syrians, Iraqis and Afghans," UNHCR spokeswoman Melita Sunjic said.