Supporters of the opposition VMRO-DPMNE party wave party and national flags in front of the government building in Skopje, North Macedonia, on Saturday, June 18, 2022. (AP Photo/Boris Grdanoski)
SKOPJE, North Macedonia — Thousands of supporters of North Macedonia’s main opposition party gathered Saturday evening in the center of the capital Skopje to pressure the leftist government to call an election two years before the end of its term.
The center-right VMRO-DPMNE party accused the ruling Social Democrat-led government of miring North Macedonia in corruption, devastating the economy and letting public health and education systems systems deteriorate. It organized Saturday’s protest rally under the slogan “It is too much! Protest for change.”
“The government is the reason for all our misfortunes and national disappointments. This is a voice against injustice and poor living conditions. There must be a change,” opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski told the gathering.
Annual inflation in the small Balkan country of about 1.8 million increased for the ninth straight month in May to reach a 14-year high of 11.9 %, up from 10.5 % in April. With average monthly wages around 480 euros , trade unions are pressing government for at least a 10% raise, arguing that current earnings cannot cover basic needs. Food and energy prices have risen 30% to 50% since the beginning of the war in Ukraine in February.
The ruling Social Democrats responded that they oppose early polls and accused VMRO-DPMNE and its leader of protesting solely for “personal and party interests”.
“Instead of being constructive and cooperative, Mickoski abuses every important process in an attempt to gain a small political profit,” the ruling party said in a statement.
Mickoski said the government is incapable of stopping the daily rise of the cost of living and dealing with deep corruption.
The opposition leader also warned the government that his party “will not accept any humiliating agreement that is detrimental to our national interests”. He was referring to a possible deal with Bulgaria that could unblock North Macedonia’s bid to join the European Union.
Bulgaria has vetoed consideration of North Macedonia’s EU membership bid, asking for a reference to a Bulgarian minority to be included in its constitution, a formal acknowledgment that the Macedonian language has Bulgarian roots and to stamp out allegedly anti-Bulgarian rhetoric. North Macedonia says its identity and language are not open to discussion and that the solution must be based on European values.
THESSALONIKI - A bus driver in Thessaloniki was sentenced to 80 months in jail – suspended – after he made a 12-year-old boy step off for not wearing a mask against COVID-19, the court ruling he exposed the boy to danger.
PHILADELPHIA – The Federation of Hellenic Societies of Philadelphia and Greater Delaware Valley announced that the Evzones, the Presidential Guard of Greece will be participating in the Philadelphia Greek Independence Day Parade on March 20.
O oceanic you sing and sail
White on your body and yellow on your chimeneas
For you're tired of the filthy waters of the harbors
You who loved the distant Sporades
You who lifted the tallest flags
You who sail clear through the most dangerous caves
Hail to you who let yourself be charmed by the sirens
Hail to you for never having been afraid of the Symplegades
What traveler has not been fascinated by the Greek islands, drawn by the Sirens’ song of a traveler’s dreams?
TNH and our video show ‘Mission’ marked the change of the season by transporting viewers into the heart of summer.
Sign up for a subscription
Want to save this article? Get a subscription to access this feature and more!
Have an idea for a story, or know of an event we should cover? We want to hear about it!
The National Herald is the paper of record of the Greek Diaspora community. Through independent journalism, we bring news to generations of Greek-Americans, with stories on the individual, community and international level. Visit and support our 106 year-old sister publication Εθνικός Κήρυξ.
You’re reading 1 of 3 free articles this month. Get unlimited access to The National Herald. or Log In