MEPs' privileges - "bleakest" event, no "light" event in July
The massive MEPs' privileges and the Prime Minister's protection of his advisor in the "Tikves" case have been ranked the "bleakest" events in July, according to opinion poll conducted by independent news agency Makfax and the NGO Transparency Macedonia.
Those two events were singled out as the bleakest by the editors-in-chief of 17 printed and electronic media in Macedonia, respondents of the opinion poll "Monthly Corruption Barometer", run by Makfax and Transparency Macedonia.
"Last month, the Macedonia's MEPs adopted the Law on Deputies with overwhelming majority, thus providing for themselves privileges, which public slammed as inappropriate for the post of deputy. Moreover, numerous experts qualified them as anti-constitutional.
By this act, MEPs disgraced the reputation of the institution of deputy, and inflicted great moral damage to the Parliament as the supreme legislator, insulted their electorate, and imposed additional burden to the State Budget. All this, including redoubling of their salaries, came amid State Audit Bureau's report, saying that the Parliament illegally and for non-specific purposes spent about 500.000 Euros, out of 2004 overall expenditures.
This rationale was backed by 9 of 18 respondents.
Second on the shortlisted "bleak" events, is the case of Prime Minister Vlado Buckovski's verbal protection of his advisor Svetozar Janevski, involved in the "Tikves" affair.
"...The Prime Minister's statement, coordinated with the businessman's call on the competent authorities to conduct an inspection control in his company, breaches directly the principle of sharing power and competencies, moreover by the executive power itself.
The case indicates possible illicit activities and misuse of the ownership rights, tax evasion, and intentional depletion of company's funds and assets, on the detriment to the rest of share-holders..." This explanation was accepted and voted for by 7 out of 18 participants in the opinion poll.
The case of Export-Import Bank, i.e. authorities' indifference in solving the case, won one vote, as did the behaviour of SDSM, when the opposition demanded a Parliamentary Inquiry Commission to probe into power abuse accusations against PM Buckovski, in the period when he held a post of Defense Minister.
None of the polled editors-in-chief voted for the case of Faculty of Pedagogy and Interior Ministry, placed on the list because of the failure to take actions for clearing the affair of false personal ID documents of the old/new Dean Murat Murati.
Makfax and Transparency concluded regretfully that no more than one event
can be offered in the "lightsome" category, which makes the vote in this heading pointless.
The opinion poll, run by Makfax news agency and NGO Transparency Macedonia in the past eight months, included editors-in-chief of Macedonian national broadcaster MTV, private television stations: A1, Telma, Sitel and Channel 5, daily newspapers: Dnevnik, Utrinski Vesnik, Vest, Vreme, Vecer, Fakti, Lime, Business, weekly newspapers: Aktuel, Fokus, Kapital and Lobi (electronic edition), and monthly magazine Forum.