DAILY BRIEF Constitutional changes or elections?

Today the debate continued in Parliament on the Proposal for constitutional changes for implementing the Prespa Agreement, between Macedonia and Greece, proposed by the Government.

This is day three of the debate on the proposal, and according to information from the Parliament, the voting will take place on Friday.

US Assistant Secretary of State for Europe and Eurasia, Wess Mitchell, sent a clear and serious signal that there will be no room for playing with Macedonia’s fate. Mitchell, without being oblique and without diplomatic gloves, wrote Mickoski that the US is disappointed from the leadership of this party from the attitude towards the referendum and towards the steps in Parliament for constitutional changes.

“As we have already spoken, the United States strongly believe that the Prespa Agreement between Macedonia and Greece is a historic opportunity for Macedonia to ensure a brighter future and to contribute to the regional security, stability and prosperity. Despite claims that a ‘better agreement’ could have been reached, we do not believe in such a thing. This agreement required compromise by both sides. It is an opportunity that will probably not be repeated in years, if not decades” – writes Mitchel in the letter to Mickoski.

The President of VMRO-DPMNE, Hristijan Mickoski, today replied to yesterday’s letter of the US Assistant Secretary of State, Wess Mitchell, that the Agreement from Prespa is not acceptable for VMRO-DPMNE.

The VMRO-DPMNE MPs withdrew from the debate in Parliament and called on the colleagues to vote.

The ruling party, on the other hand, highlighted that if Hristijan Mickoski continues to block the future of Macedonia, the parliamentary majority in the next several days will announce early parliamentary elections.

“The citizens will make the decision, the option for the future will win with an enormous majority, Macedonia will be part of NATO and the EU”, is said in SDSM’s reaction.

AJM and SSNM demand from the responsible editor, Atanas Kirovski on TV Telma, to withdraw the order for banning the expressing of opinions and views on the social networks of the journalists employed in the editorial office, announced on the announcement board of the media outlet. According to them, the contents and the tone of the order are particularly insulting and humiliating, not only for the journalists in TV Telma, but also for the image of the television station and its leadership.

“The behavior of the journalists on the social networks cannot and must not be restricted, just as there cannot be and must not be a difference between their professional and private system of values. However, this is not an issue of orders and sanctions, but an issue of the fundamental integrity of the journalist, and an issue of internal dialogue and trust in the editorial office, which draws its integrity precisely from the journalists and its editors’, is said in the announcement.

“On behalf of the AJM, I would like to most strongly condemn the practice of banning any comments of journalists on TV Telma by the director and chief editor Atanas Kirovski. We are convinced that such an arbitrary and selective ban on any comments of journalists on the social

networks, for supposedly preserving the neutrality of the television, is violation to the freedom of speech, which in Macedonia is guaranteed by the Constitution, and also with international documents”, stated the President of the AJM, Naser Selmani.

The Basic Public Prosecution Skopje filed an indictment against one person for the criminal act – Endangering the security from Article 144, item 4 of the Criminal Code, that is, for threatening a journalist through the social networks. The indictment refers to the actor and member of the VMRO-DPMNE managing board, Toni Mihajlovski.

Greek Foreign Minister, Nikos Kotzias, today resigned following yesterday’s Cabinet meeting, where he fiercely clashed with Defense Minister Panos Kammenos in regards to the Prespa Agreement, writes Kathimerini.

According to Kathimerini sources, Kotzias is dissatisfied because during yesterday’s meeting, Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras had not tried at all to support him and oppose Kammenos’s attacks.

А. P.


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