SKOPJE, AUGUST 30, 1995 (MIC)
At yesterday's 36th session of the Macedonian Government, a relatively small number of items were listed on the daily agenda, among which the essential debate focused on the law on elementary and secondary education. As minister-spokesman Gjuner Ismail emphasized at yesterday's news conference at the Government, the Ministry of Education, that is to say, the Government, incorporated all the remarks brought up in the parliamentary debate into the legal acts. Hence, the two exceptionally important legal acts are contained in the final government version. The issue at hand are fundamental laws in the educational sphere, laws that will provide a more rudimentary reform in the educational system, and which beside reforming it, are also complimentary with the reform course of the Macedonian Government, Ismail stated.
The Government also reviewed the information about the construction of the gas line system in Macedonia. The main gas line system is expected to start working at the beginning of November. The Government has designated 42 million denars (US$ 1.08 million) from the budget for gasification, i.e. for the technical adaptation of 7 of the most priority consumers. The recipients of these funds will be "Central Heating" - Skopje, "Idnina" from Kratovo, "11 Oktomvri" - Kumanovo, "Komuna," "Ohis," the tannery "Goce Delchev" - Skopje and "Evropa" - Skopje.
As spokesman Ismail pointed out, the Government also passed two decrees on the balances and discount plans of the banks, savings banks and insurance companies, drawn up in line with the international standards for the classification of property and money. Furthermore, a decision was made as to the determination of products that can be sold according to the "door to door" system and in slot-machines, which opens up room for the more civilized sale of products outside shops and marketplaces. This decision also administers the sale of newspapers, magazines, books and in the slot-machines - cigarettes, non-alcoholic and hot drinks, chocolates, etc. All of this will make space for new initiatives, especially after the closure of the marketplace and a possibility for interested parties to invest in slot-machines.
At its Monday session, the Macedonian Government continued the process of personnel changes. This time, the Republic Geodetic Administration and the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Water Supply were targeted. The assistant director of the Geodetic Administration Boro Ristevski was dismissed for overstepping his authority, as well as an adviser in the administration, for total inefficiency. The Ministry of Agriculture, on the other hand, is undergoing fundamental changes and restructuring, aimed at radically increasing the efficiency, due to which the assistant minister Hristo Kalevski, the chief republic inspector of agriculture and forestry Kiril Jankovski and the director of the Republic Veterinary Department Zijam Asken have been dismissed.
"The Law on local self-management and the draft-text sent to the Macedonian Parliament will reach the daily agenda on September 12 and we are not expecting any changes of the date. In the meantime, a public discussion is taking place, which might bring some valuable suggestions. Of course, if Mr. Arens expresses the desire to start a discussion as part of the talks on former Yugoslavia (as part of the Geneva Conference), we will call him here to start a discussion on the Law on local self- management, and certainly, if some opinions are presented which could be useful and serve to improve the text, we will act in the same way as with the suggestions in the Macedonian public. So, these talks are possible, they are lasting, and in relation to the Law on local self-management, those talks could be held here in Skopje," minister-spokesman Ismail said in regard to the talks with Gerd Arens and the possibility of discussing the local-self management in Geneva again.
In response to a journalist's question about the Government's stand following the letter sent to the President of the U.S.A. Bill Clinton, spokesman Gjuner Ismail said: "It's a letter that's the result of a totally wrong political assessment at the wrong time. The theses of the letter, the low level of vocabulary, are not only placed in the function of the internal political needs of these political parties in the Macedonian state, but are also the reiteration of the theses of an infamous Serb policy from 1989, i.e. 1991, known as defeated policy. A concept which, with its integrationist approach, could not find any room on the Balkans, even less in Europe. But, if the failure of that policy was educational for some, obviously, this was not the case for the signatories of the letter, and of course, it is sad and tragic that the signature of one of the political parties participating in the Macedonian Government also stands there."
On the occasion of the 50-year anniversary of the United Nations, a special session of the Inter-parliamentary Union starts in New York today. Participating in the session, which will last till September 1, will be the parliamentary delegations of all permanent and associated members of the Union. The Macedonian delegation, which arrived at the UN seat yesterday, is led by Speaker of Parliament Stojan Andov. The other members are the vice-president Tito Petkovski and MPs Ilinka Mitreva and Abdurahman Aliti.
According to the program, the special session of the Council will be inaugurated in the morning, in the presence of the UN Secretary-General Boutros Ghali and other eminent figures of the world organization. The motto and focal topic of the three-day discussions will be democracy, peace and constant development. During the last day, a resolution on the strengthening and democratization of the structures for international cooperation is expected to be adopted. This meeting of the Inter-parliamentary Union will be used for numerous meetings of the delegations. Over the next couple of days, the Macedonian delegation is expected to realize a number of contacts with various delegations. After the end of the session, the Macedonian delegation will pay a visit to Detroit, where it will attend the meeting of the Macedonian immigrants from the Northern American continent. Otherwise, the Macedonian delegation and a group of journalists from the Macedonian media visited UN headquarters today as well as the Macedonian mission with the UN.
George Stefanopoulos, special adviser of the U.S. President, discussed the relations with the neighbors in Athens yesterday with the Greek ministers of foreign affairs and defence, Karolos Papoulias and Gerasimos Arsenis. Speaking of the dispute between Athens and Skopje, he stressed that the lifting of the Greek embargo will present a positive step toward the resolution of the conflict. He emphasized that Greece's "historical distress" should be taken into account upon the resolution of this problem.
27 faculties of the universities in Tirana, Skadar, Elbasan, Korcha, Gjirokastra and Valona have started accepting applications for enrollment in the first year of studies, where there are 3,500 places for future freshmen, Makpress reports, calling upon Radio Tirana.
This academic year, all the faculties are providing places for students from Macedonia, Kosovo and Montenegro, who are allocated 10% of the total quota.
In yesterday's announcement to the public, the National Committee of MAAK - Conservative party says that this party is strongly protesting against all negotiations led between Macedonian Government representatives and representatives of the Albanian minority in Macedonia, with the mediation of foreign instructors of the type of Gerd Arens, in Geneva.
MAAK - Conservative party is demanding the immediate ceasing of this forbidden practice.
If these negotiations are not ceased, is said in the announcement, MAAK - Conservative party is demanding the compulsory inclusion in the same of the out-of-Parliament oppositional parties which boycotted the second round of the so- called elections - IMRO-DPMNU, the Democratic party and MAAK, which would guarantee the equal representation of the interests of all Macedonians.
Furthermore, the practice of the Government, which represents only one quarter of the whole Macedonian voting body, to negotiate which the overall Albanian minority, could lead to serious and unwanted consequences in the period to come, is said in the announcement of MAAK - Conservative party.
The electoral assemblies that were scheduled to be held in the three electoral units of IMRO-DPMNU in Shtip on Saturday, did not take place. Namely, we have been informed that the base in Skopje suggested that the elections be held in only two electoral units, and that the third one should wait a while. We have also learned that three members of the election committee with the IMRO-DPMNU branch have resigned.
Yet, the voting did not take place in even one electoral unit. A petition for replacing Boris Zmejkovski as party secretary-general was signed among the members of IMRO- DPMNU from Shtip. If Boris Zmejkovski is re-elected secretary- general, the Shtip members of IMRO-DPMNU are announcing abstinence. Could this mean a possible division in this party, following the example of the Shtip party organization?
Out of a total of 15,576 redundant workers, which is how many have been determined as surplus with the Government program for the "loss-makers," the companies have submitted documentation for 13,915, who have been paid on the basis of compensation and lay-off money. 83 workers for which documents have been submitted have still not been paid. According to that, 1,661 more employees have still to be dealt with.
The program foresees a sum of MKD 1,718 million for salaries, lay-off money, pension and disability insurance, of which MKD 1,707 million have been disbursed. This means that another MKD 10.4 million are left to be spent. Otherwise, the sum for the unpaid salaries adds up to somewhat more than MKD 490 million, for pension and disability insurance some MKD 192 million and for lay-off money - over MKD 1 billion. The compensation for unpaid salaries applies to two month salaries with the "loss-makers" ("Toranica" - Kriva Palanka, "Zletovo baterii," "Lozar" - Titov Veles) and up to ten salaries in "Heroj Toza Dragovich" ("Sigurnosni pojasi" and "Learnica") and HTD "Ogledala" - Struga.
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