The spokesman of the Macedonian Government Gjuner Ismail yesterday denied the Wednesday report in the Belgrade newspaper "Politika," which says that "the Macedonian Government condemns the Croatian aggression against Knin and Kraina."
In Ismail's statement for the agency BETA, which is conveyed in Macedonia by MAKPRESS, he said that in response to the question about Macedonia's stance in relation to developments in Croatia, he said that "Macedonia believes the war can stop only if all the republics from former Yugoslavia recognize each other within the AVNOJ (Antifascist Assembly of the National Liberation of Yugoslavia) borders," emphasizing that "the Macedonian Government feels only this act can stop the war on the regions of former Yugoslavia."
Macedonia's President Kiro Gligorov yesterday received the delegation of the U.S. Congress staying in Macedonia. The delegation was led by Harold Rogers, president of the Congressional Sub-committee on budget issues and the state Management Under Secretary Richard Muse. Also participating in the meeting was Macedonian Foreign Minister Stevo Crvenkovski, as well as the head of the U.S. Liaisons Office in Macedonia Victor Comras.
During the reception, the U.S. congressmen expressed an interest in the principal issues from the foreign policy and the development of the Republic of Macedonia. They emphasized the significance the U.S. is giving to the stability and development of Macedonia, as a key factor of the peace and stability in the region. They also expressed satisfaction with the successful cooperation between the peacekeeping forces of the United Nations, which also means the U.S. contingent and the authorities and people of Macedonia.
In welcoming the guests, President Gligorov emphasized that with the recognition of the Republic of Macedonia and the participation in the peacekeeping forces of the UN which are on a preventive mission in Macedonia, the U.S. gave a significant contribution to the stability in this region and to the deterrence of the expansion of the war to the south. He also stressed the positive importance of the inter-army cooperation of between Macedonia and the U.S., which should develop further in the current political setting.
Gligorov made a commitment to reinforce the efforts of the international community to find a sole platform for the peaceful resolution of the war on the regions of former Yugoslavia.
"We have come to examine and assess the peacekeeping operation of the UN forces, and to evaluate the situation in Macedonia," U.S. Congressman Harold Rogers said.
In relation to the possible economic help from the U.S.A. for Macedonia, he said: "We discussed a number of questions. Maybe in future, at some later time, that will also be discussed."
As to the stance of the U.S. Congress concerning the latest developments in Croatia, Rogers stated: "Of course we are following what is happening in Croatia with interest, as well as the Croatian successful initiative. All the great powers and the others hope that a new possibility is being opened up there. It is hopeful that the Serbs would be prepared to discuss finding a solution to the war, which would be good for the region."
A public opinion poll conducted by the Sofia agency "Medijana" determines that one fourth, or 27% of the polled citizens feel that the Bulgarians and Macedonians are the members of the same nation. 30% believe that they were the same nation in history, but in the meantime, some kind of historical, political and cultural changes took place, which differentiated them into two separate peoples. 15% believe that the Macedonians and Bulgarians have always represented two different national entities. 28% of those polled were without an opinion.
The President of the Republic of Macedonia has appointed Srdjan Kerim extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador to Liechtenstein, who is also extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of the Republic of Macedonia to the Federal Republic of Germany.
At its Wednesday session, the Government Privatization Commission finally reviewed the instructions for the procedures for every legal model for privatization and the Draft-decision on the criteria for assessment of offers upon the sale of the enterprise to persons taking over the running of the enterprise and with the issue of shares to gather up additional capital, which the Privatization Agency prepared one month ago, with the purpose to provide greater transparency in the privatization procedure.
The Commission gave its own suggestions to improve the text of the Instructions and returned it back for some more work, with a proposal for the Government to discuss it in two weeks. The Draft-decision on the criteria was accepted without any remarks and it should be passed at the Government session on Monday. According to the Agency's proposal, according to the two mentioned models of privatization, the offers would be assessed according to the offered price (20 to 45% of the point), investments (15% to 25% of the points), number of employees (15 to 30% of the points) anticipated market and financial performances ( 10 to 15% of the points), and a degree of freedom in the Agency's decision-making has been left, namely 5% as its discreet right to add to the assessment some concrete realizations which are not envisaged with the criteria.
A Macedonian businessman from Chicago, originally from Resen, who wishes to remain anonymous, and who owns a factory for the production of pipes and 18 pharmacies in the U.S.A., announced these days that he is interested in buying the Department store "Cinar" in Ohrid, and opening a "Mc Donald's" restaurant in it. He is also interested in starting negotiations for the purchase of the Tobacco combine from Prilep.
This is not the only example of foreign interests in the Ohrid economy. A delegation from Egypt is in negotiations with "AGP" - company with limited liability from Ohrid, and this fall, it is possible to sign some deals between Egyptian and Ohrid firms.
As to cooperation with Turkey, the Ohrid "EMO" and the Turkish "Galkon" have already started the realization of the project for building the long-distance pipe line Bitola-Skopje, worth some US$ 20 million. It should also be mentioned that "Alatnica" from Ohrid has made a deal with the Turkish firm "Ihlas" from Istanbul for the sale of parts that will be built into household appliances.
On a number of occasions, Russian businessmen have also expressed an interest in increasing the trade exchange and cooperation with a number of Ohrid firms ("Oteks," "EMO," etc.) as well as joint participation in the realization of certain projects for appearances on third markets.
In the first semester of this year, the textile company "Teteks" from Tetovo increased its production 8.3%, compared to the same period last year. This comes at a time when the textile industry notes a 15% drop in production.
The biggest growth is recorded in the factory for the production of cloth - 20%, and the factory for ready-made clothing also notes a 20% increase. However, there is a decline in production in the factory for spin yarn and woolen yarn (6%) and knitted goods (5%).
In the first 6 months, "Teteks" realized exports of US$ 8.5 million. Most of the export is oriented toward the U.S.A. - 71%, Denmark is in the second place with 13%, and the rest is marketed on the European market.