31 January 2010

Macedonian Industrial Output up 20%

Macedonia’s industrial output increased 20% in December 2009 compared with the same month last year, State Statistical Office said on Wednesday.
The rise in industrial output was recorded in the sectors: recycling, production of metal goods, production of basic metals etc. A more serious drop was recorded in the sectors: furniture production, vehicle production, publishing, printing and reproduction.
Due to the increase of the industrial output in December, the cumulative drop of the industrial output index has decreased to 7.7 for 2009.
A year ago, the industrial output went down. The first increase of 4.3% was registered in November of 2009. The drop of the industrial output was the key factor for GDP drop and therefore helped Macedonia to come out of recession.

28 January 2010

Macedonian fruit, vegetable processing companies in Czech Republic

Dozen Macedonian companies for fruit and vegetable processing pay January 26-28 a visit to the Czech Republic, aiming to find business partners for export of their products, MIA reports from Prague.
The visit, initiated by the Macedonian Association of Fruit and Vegetable Manufacturers (MAP), is arranged by the Macedonian Embassy to Prague.
Presentation and tasting of Macedonian products will be held in Prague, in the attendance of Czech food companies, as well as meetings with representatives of foreign and domestic supermarkets at the Czech market.
Moreover, representatives of Macedonian companies will pay a visit to the Teplice glass factory, where they would review possibilities for joint investment projects in the field of canning and packaging of Macedonian products.

26 January 2010

Macedonia moves up 22 places in Economic Freedom Rankings

Macedonia is among the countries that has made greatest progress in economic freedom, moving up 22 places in the world rankings to finish 56, says the latest report of the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal. Macedonia's overall score has increased 4.5 points from last year, reflecting a major improvement in labor freedom and smaller improvements in six other economic freedoms.
Macedonia is ranked 26th out of 43 countries in the Europe region, and its overall score is above the world average. Reforms in labor market flexibility and regulation of investment enabled Macedonia's economy to achieve one of the highest score improvements in the 2010 Index.
Macedonia also enjoys high levels of trade freedom, fiscal freedom, and monetary freedom. Personal and corporate income tax rates are very competitive, and tax administration has been strengthened. Monetary stability is relatively well maintained. Macedonia is generally open to global trade, and the financial sector has weathered the global financial crisis relatively well.
Macedonia still lacks sufficient institutional support for property rights and the fight against corruption. The court system is prone to corruption, political interference, and inefficiency, and human trafficking and smuggling of drugs and weapons remain serious problems, the report says.
The world in general saw contraction of economic freedoms because of last year's financial crisis that forced governments to adopt huge economic stimulus packages and increase public spending. Hong Kong has maintained its position as the world's freest economy for 16 consecutive years, followed by Singapore, Australia, New Zealand, and Ireland as Europe's leader.
In Europe, Switzerland is the second freest economy, followed by Denmark and the United Kingdom. Europe's top ten include Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Estonia, Finland, Iceland and Sweden. Belarus and Ukraine, categorised as repressive economies, ended at the bottom of the European rankings.
In the Balkans, Albania holds the 53rd position followed by Slovenia - 61; Turkey - 67, Montenegro - 68; Greece - 73; Bulgaria - 75; Croatia - 92 and Bosnia/Herzegovina - 110.
For over a decade, the Heritage Foundation and The Wall Street Journal, Washington's preeminent think tank, have tracked the march of economic freedom around the world with the influential Index of Economic Freedom.

22 January 2010

Macedonian Orthodox celebrate Epiphany - Vodici

Orthodox believers Tuesday celebrate great Christian holiday - Epiphany. The holiday marks two events in Jesus Christ’s life, according to the Christian Bible.
The first event was when the three wise men, or kings, visited infant Jesus.
The second event was when St. John the Baptist baptized Jesus.
The Head of Macedonian Orthodox Church, Archbishop of Ohrid and Macedonia HH Stefan performed the Great Theophany Blessing of Water, dipping the Holy Cross and blessing the water of the river Vardar. Ilija Stojanovski from Skopje caught the Holy Cross that the Head of the Macedonian Orthodox Church HH Stefan threw in the waters of river Vardar on occasion of Epiphany.
Twenty-eight year old Stojanovski, who is professional swimmer, congratulated the holiday to all Orthodox believers and wished them happiness. He expected to catch the Holy Cross since he registered to participate at the cross-throwing ceremony. 168 believers jumped into the river Vardar to catch the Holy Cross. Stojanovski was given a laptop, DVD surround system from PM Nikola Gruevski, golden coin from Skopje Mayor Koce Trajanovski, an icon and "Gorenje" products from Centar municipality mayor Vladimir Todorovic and other gifts.
It is considered that the one who catches the cross will enjoy happiness, health and welfare all year long. - Let's change, improve and repent! St. John's message: Repent - is sent to us - meaning to be more compassionate, to have bigger faith and hope, to forgive and to help, is today's message by HH Stefan to Orthodox believers.
The traditional ceremony of throwing the Holy Cross was held throughout Macedonia, with the largest event in Ohrid, where Jovan Rilkov from Varos was the luckiest one among 1.200 believers who participated at Holy Cross throwing in Ohrid Lake.

20 January 2010

International Tourism Fair opens in Ohrid

Representatives of 25 tourist agencies from Israel, Bulgaria, Turkey, Serbia, Albania, Kosovo, Italy, Hungary and Montenegro participate in the third International Tourism Fair, taking place in Ohrid on January 17-19.
Opening the Fair, Deputy Economy Minister Metodij Hadzi-Vaskov said that the event was offering an opportunity to foreign tour operators to become familiar with Macedonia's tourist potentials. It is also part of the Government's camapign for promoting tourism as one of the country's economic priorities, Hadzi-Vaskov said. In this respect, he also mentioned the campaign 'Macedonia Timeless', saying that it has been one of the best in promoting the country across the globe. It adds to the efforts for better presentaion of Macedonia's tourist potentials, Hadzi-Vaskov said.
The Fair's organizers, the Agency for Promotion and Support of Tourism, in cooperation with the Chambers of Tourism and Hotel Association, say the event also presents a solid opportunity for direct contacts of local and foreign tourist agencies. These meetings should result in including Macedonia's tourist destinations in the offers of foreign tour operators.
Furthermore, the fair will promote the Macedonian wine, delicacies, and organize a forum on Macedonia's tourist product within the world's tourist offer. The Fair's participants will also have a chance to attend a celebration of Epiphany - January 19 - an event that has been attracting great number of tourists for the last few years.

18 January 2010

Airports pay back Debts prior to TAV's takeover

Macedonian government is making the necessary preparations for the arrival of Turkey-based TAV, the company which is going to make investments in Macedonia airports.
The government reached a decision that Airports pay back the debt of EUR 2.5 million to Macedonian Air Traffic Control. The government says the debt has to be paid back by the end of February 2010. Furthermore, Air Traffic Control has to pay he installment of loan to EBRD a month before due date.

15 January 2010

Macedonians Cool on EU Travel after Visa removal

The visa liberalisation failed to increase the interest of Macedonian citizens to travel in European countries belonging to the Schengen zone, show data obtained by the Ministry of Interior Affairs (MoI). The number of persons who left the country after the visa regime was lifted on Dec. 19 until Jan. 12 has raised insignificantly compared to the same period in 2008/09.
According to MoI statistics, 208.257 passengers exited Macedonia during this period and 169.936 passengers entered. A year earlier in the same period, 193.185 passengers left the country and 171.178 paid a visit. The visa liberalisation also failed to boost the work of travel agencies.
The chairman of the Association of the Travel Agencies of Macedonia (ATAM), Mile Spirovski said the expectations for increase of touristic travels abroad weren't met. - On the contrary, the interest for traveling has decreased and it is at the lowest possible level at the moment. The main reason for it is the economic crisis, he stated.
Two weeks after the visa liberation entered into force, the interest for traveling to EU countries was increased by 30%, but it gradually was reduced to the average dynamics. Figures show that the visa liberalisation is being implemented without major obstacles, because out of over 200.000 passengers, only 77 Macedonian citizens were denied entrance in a Shengen country.
Representatives of the EU delegation to Macedonia told media that the visa liberalisation was being implemented successfully, without serious problems. The visa regime abolition opened an opportunity for Macedonian citizens to travel freely in the European Schengen area containing 28 countries, 500 million people and a territory spanning 4,3 million kilometers square.
The people of Macedonia can travel to 25 EU states, with the exception of Great Britain and Ireland, and in another three European countries, Norway, Switzerland and Iceland.

13 January 2010

Vevcani Carnival begins

The traditional Vasilica Carnival, dedicated to St.Basil the Great and the banishment of evil, is held in Vevcani on Tuesday and Wednesday. The event begins with an improvised fair for alternative tourism and concerts of Vlado Janevski, Vlatko Stefanovski, bands Milko and Riblja Corba on Tuesday, whereas the traditional masked ball and related customs will be held on Wednesday.
A novelty of this year's festival edition is the New Year's bazaar for craftsmen and souvenir producers. "One should attend the carnival and feel the Vevcani spirit and humour, where no one is forgiven, be it famous or common person", said chairperson of the Vevcani Carnival Board Liljana Popovska. Vevcani mayor Pero Ilieski urged people to come to the carnival and feel the spirit of masked people, including children, "who are a guarantee that tradition will not die out".
The carnival's roots originate from paganism, whereas its long-standing tradition represents a merger between the mythic and ancient with the modern. The event has an international spirit, since a number of foreign guests also take part, coming from Bulgaria, Serbia, Bosnia & Herzegovina and Turkey.
This year's Vevcani Carnival is organized by "Tetragon", association for alternative tourism "Balkanika" and association "Denica", along with the support from the culture and economy ministries.

11 January 2010

NY Times picks Macedonia one of world's top travel destinations

Macedonia has been placed among the 31 world's top travel destinations, which the "New York Times" recommends for 2010.
"One of the deepest lakes on the planet, with a dazzling Unesco World Heritage site of ancient dwellings rising high above its shores, Lake Ohrid in Macedonia is a local vacation star poised for greater international acclaim. In the tiered, terra-cotta-roofed city of Ohrid, 18 miles from the Albanian border, a lakefront settlement dating back to Neolithic times, Macedonians boast that on their side of the lake is a church, monastery or mosque for every day of the year, each full of resplendent frescoes, mosaics and icons.
Notable attractions include the recently renovated church of St. Clement and St. Panteleimon at Plaosnik, an epic Byzantine masterpiece, and the 13th-century St. John of Kaneo, a limestone and brick monastery that juts out over transparent blue waters. An estimated $50 million renovation of the Ohrid Airport is planned for 2010, with more international flights expected by summer, and up to six new luxury hotels are in the works, including a $33 million property with construction scheduled to begin in March.
Tourist attractions on Ohrid’s beaches were upgraded last year with swank bars and dining spots complimented by bamboo and leather couchettes, with the hot spot Cuba Libre (www.cubalibreohrid.com) leading the way.
Meanwhile, new government-financed archaeological digs around the lake regularly unearth treasures, like the 17 fifth-century tombs discovered last July. The find follows the 2008 opening of the Museum on Water, a re-created Bronze Age village built on stilts incorporating Ohrid artifacts", reads the "New York Times" text on Macedonia.

08 January 2010


Finally, Macedonian christmas! Macedonia Daily wishes you a happy christmas and a great time celebrating it! Christmas is widely celebrated all over Macedonia. In Skopje for example the 18th traditional Christmas Eve festivity took place outside St. Kliment Ohridski Cathedral. This event to become traditional in the Macedonian capital is becoming a reality. 
Each year, thousands of Macedonian citizens attend this celebration, the peak of which is the welcoming of the Christmas godfather with a blessing from the Macedonian church head. Like every year, free brandy, communion, and Christmas Eve oak tree branches were given away outside the cathedral, while the ceremony began with a Christmas Eve hymn and with the committee hoisting the Christmas Eve flag. MD: 

We wish you a merry christmas!! 
Hristos se rodi! Navistina se rodi!!

05 January 2010

Macedonia's Smoking Ban Obeyed

Law on Protection from Smoking is obeyed, controls of the State Market Inspectorate show. Economy Ministry informed that inspectors carried out controls in Old Skopje Bazaar, at Skopje downtown and Makedonija street whereat no violation of law is recorded. Law on Protection from Smoking entered into force on Jan. 1, encompassing a complete ban of smoking in cafes, restaurants, nightclubs, but also in all places that serve food and beverages.
Smoking is not banned only in people's homes, at open spaces and public areas free of sporting competitions, cultural and entertainment events, gatherings and other public events.
Law violations will result in EUR 150-300 fines for smokers, firms will have to pay EUR 2,500-4,500, whereas hospitality facilities would be closed for a 30-day period.