Two days ago, the Government adopted several types of starting Programs on crime prevention. Namely, the Program for the prevention of corruption in the administrative and public services, for organized crime, drugs trade and money laundering. Justice Minister Vlado Popovski, in announcing the "continued fight against organized crime" which was opened by the Macedonian Government two days ago, at a news conference yesterday, specified the focal points of the Government's activities, as well as the goals and tasks of the Justice Ministry, as part of the project.
As first, within 15-20 days, as the Minister pointed out, the Ministry of Justice will offer operative programs for each of these fields, with deadlines for their execution.
Following the example of other countries, the Government will also form separate bodies, instructed to prepare detailed programs for all fields, and which would also have the task to study the crime sources and its expansion. In addition, at a state level, a Council for crime prevention will be formed, as well as local councils for that purpose, which would include officials from the local self-management.
These organs, as Popovski emphasized, are expected to make some necessary changes in the material-criminal law, the Law on criminal procedure and to dimension the equipment of the prosecutors' offices, the courts, prisons and police. In this context, the Government placed a special emphasis on the role and place of the police in crime prevention. Other than that, prevention Commissions for bribes and corruption in the state administration and the public organs are also planned in the municipalities, while at a republic level, there is an independent state organ for analyzes and achievements. In the prevention of money laundering, due to the lack of specialists, bank experts will be included.
Two days ago, the Government also decided to form a Ministry of Trade. "The idea is to unite the activities surrounding the handling of the foreign politics, rationalization of the administration with the citizens and legal subjects and coordination of the activities toward the foreign-trade subjects, as part of the executive power," Economy Minister Risto Ivanov told the news conference yesterday. In this sense, it is proposed to issue only one sole document which would have to be shown to the customs organs, and which would go into use from January 1, next year. The to-date procedure for foreign-trade activities, which included up to 15 state organs, as Ivanov emphasized, will be shortened some 30% with the formation of this ministry, Ivanov said.
At yesterday's Government news conference, in response to a journalists' question as to why the Macedonian Government did not react, that is to say, whether it will react at all to the latest developments in Croatia and Bosnia, minister Gjuner Ismail said that the Government, as always in the case of war, was very concerned.
"The Government is kept up-to-date with the escalation of the events in Croatia and Bosnia," minister-spokesman Gjuner said. "We are carefully following all those events and as always in cases of war, we are concerned, especially since that war is taking place on the territories of former Yugoslavia, i.e. between its former federal units. It is clear that military outcomes do not benefit anyone, everyone looses in a war," minister Ismail said, stressing that "we are still firm in our belief that the mutual recognition of the states within the borders of the former federation is the starting point for any kind of peaceful solution to the so-called YU-crisis."
The recent prison release of the ten convicted felons in the affair "paramilitary" should not be comprehended as generosity and understanding on the part of President Kiro Gligorov, but only as "political acrobatics, aimed at building up false democratic rating." This assessment was published in the Prishtina daily "Rilindija" yesterday, which comes out in Tirana and is sold in Macedonia as well.
In the commentary entitled "The wold and the sheep- skin," "Rilindija" assesses "such is the democracy of this Slav- Communist country." (Macedonia).
The co-president of VMRO-SMD (IMRO - Union of Macedonian Associations) and member of the Bulgarian National Assembly Evgeni Ekov complained at a news conference in Sofia about the attitude of the Macedonian police, who did not allow him and his companions to lay flowers at the grave of komitadji leader Toma Davidov, near Ohrid.
He explained that his car was stopped by a police patrol a couple of kilometers before they could reach the monument of the voivode. The police allowed Ekov, who has diplomatic immunity, as member of the Bulgarian Parliament, to walk on foot to the grave, if he liked, and ordered the others to turn back to Ohrid or Skopje.
The organizer of this event was Vladimir Paunovski from Ohrid, who, according to Ekov, was arrested on August 2, and the laying of the flowers on the grave of the voivode Davidov was cancelled by an oral order. Ekov has asked the Bulgarian Foreign Ministry to react against the violation of the rights of the Bulgarian citizens in Macedonia.
At a news conference yesterday, the Democratic Party of the Serbs in Macedonia, expressing joint stances with the Association of the Serbs and Montenegrins, condemned the "genocide over the Serbian people carried out under the auspices of the United Nations and the U.S. and Germany." They also sent out an appeal for Macedonia to show good will and to send help to the Serb victims in medicine, money and food.
It was said that the latest developments in Serb Kraina not only jeopardize the Serbianship, but also Orthodoxy at large.
"I hope that by the end of November, this year, the Macedonian Red Cross will be accepted as a full member of the world assembly of the Red Cross," the Secretary-General of the International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent George Weber told a news conference yesterday.
Mr. Weber stressed that his visit to the Macedonian Red Cross is aimed at assessing the humanitarian needs in Macedonia and directing the humanitarian activities in this region.
Mr. Weber informed that the International Federation has been present in Macedonia for three years now and that it supports the activities of the Red Cross for helping the refugees from the crisis regions from former Yugoslavia, and that it also supports the disaster program and the numerous activities in the health sphere.
The retail prices in July, compared to the previous month, remained at the same level - without any increases. Last month, the prices of the industrial-non-food products were 0.3% higher than the previous month. This is owed, before all, to the increased prices of the means for education, culture and relaxation, which went up 6.5%.
This price-movement trend, despite the increase in the prices of the industrial-non-food products, is owed to the low prices of the agricultural products, which note a 9.8% decline.
The prices of the services have gone up 1.1% compared to the previous month.
Contrary to this, the living costs in July, in comparison with the previous month, have decreased 0.6%, which comes as a result of the prices, mainly food, which have gone down 2.5%.
In comparing the living costs with December, 1994, it turns out that in the first 6 months of this year, they went up only 1.9%.