30 March 2012

100,000 passengers at Mak Airports in beginning of 2012

The number of transported passengers in airline traffic at Macedonian airports in the first two months in 2012 has increased by 20 percent compared to the same period in 2011, the Ministry of Transport and Communications said in a press release.
In January, the number of transported passengers at the Skopje and Ohrid airports amounted to 63,877 i.e. a 23.5 percent increase compared to 2011. In February, the number is 48,756, which is up by 21.2 percent compared to the same month last year.
"Following the completion of the project for modernization of Macedonia's airport system by way of concession, there has been a continual rise in the number of passengers and flights. A total of 834,273 were transported at both airports in the course of 2011, which is an increase by 15 percent compared to 2010. In addition, there has been a 9.8-percent rise in the cargo transport", reads the press release.

28 March 2012

Edition and film on 2. world religious conference in Ohrid

The Ministry of Culture will promote Tuesday edition "Religion and Culture - Unbreakable Ties among Nations" in five languages, as well as a DVD documentary film, dedicated to the 2. World Conference on Inter-Religious and Inter-Civilization Dialogue, held in Ohrid in 2010.
Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska is set to address the promotion.
The editions and the film have been funded by UNESCO, in the framework of UN's joint programme "Enhancing Interethnic Community Dialogue and Collaboration" towards achieving the Millennium Development Goals.
The promotion will be preceded by a meeting of members of the international organizing committee for the 3. World Conference on Dialogue among Religions and Civilizations in 2013.
The committee includes Minister Kanceska-Milevska, Foreign Minister Nikola Poposki, director of the Commission for Relations with Religious Communities and Groups Valentina Bozinovska, Macedonia's Ambassador to the Holly See Gjoko Gjorgjevski, as well as professors and religious representatives from other countries.

26 March 2012

Carlos Slim, CEOs of largest telecommunications companies in Ohrid

Broadband Commission for Digital Development, established by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU) and UNESCO, chaired by world's richest man Carlos Slim, will hold a meeting in Ohrid on April 2.
The meeting will also include co-chair, Rwanda's President Paul Kagame, as well as commission members, including CEOs of world's largest IT companies such as Intel, Ericsson, Telefonica, Cisco, Alcatel-Lucent, Huawei Technologies etc.
"Slim will meet PM Gruevski and a number of ministers, who will present a portion of our projects", Minister of Information Society and Administration Ivo Ivanovski, who is also a Commission member, told MIA.
U.S. magazine "Forbes" has declared Mexican businessman of Lebanese descent Carlos Slim the richest man in the world for three years running. He is the chairman and chief executive of telecommunications companies Telmex and America Movil and has extensive holdings in other Mexican companies through his conglomerate, Grupo Carso SAB, as well as business interests elsewhere in the world. His wealth is estimated at over US$ 69 billion.

Project for construction of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk's family house presented

Mustapha Kemal Ataturk
A memorial house in honor of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk - the founder of the Republic of Turkey - will be built in the village of Kodzadzik in Centar Zupa Municipality (western Macedonia) starting this May. Its cornerstone was laid two years ago.
Two facilities will be built - the house in which Ataturk's father, Ali Riza Efendi was born and raised is going to be reconstructed, while a house of their relatives will be built next to it.
A protocol on reconstruction and conservation of Ataturk's family house was signed Friday by Minister of Culture Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska, Mehmet Süreyya Er - deputy president of the Turkish Cooperation & Coordination Agency (TIKA) - and the mayor of Centar Zupa, Mazlum Hasan.
The project, which will be realised with a donation by TIKA, was prepared by the National Conservation Center.
The two houses will be built on a hill covering an area of 340 square meters on archaeological remains. They will maintain the authenticity of the period they were constructed - the 19th century.
The house of the relatives is planned to serve as a museum where the origin and education of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and his work as a statesman and founder of moder Turkey will be displayed.
"The construction of a memorial house of Kemal Ataturk - the most important person in Turkey's history and the founding father of the country - is of great importance notably for Turkey and for the Turkish community here, but also for Macedonia. It is a symbol of our great friendship and will become a significant cultural and tourist destination," Minister Kanceska-Milevska said.
Mehmet Süreyya Er said he was satisfied with the project, praising the National Conservation Center for preparing it very quickly. He thanked the presidents and premiers of Turkey and Macedonia for supporting the project.
Mustafa Kemal Ataturk (1881-1938) was born in Thessaloniki, where his parents had settled after leaving the village of Kodzadzik.

23 March 2012

STOBI Winery Earns Silver in France

Macedonian wineries continue to earn awards and be repeatedly voted as making the world's best wines...
At the 19th international wine competition held at Château des Ravatys in France, Macedonian winery Stobi received a silver medal. At the festival more than 300 wine experts (oenologists) had the utmost difficult task in selecting world's best Chardonnay wines.
Famous wineries from 43 countries presented 908 varieties of Chardonnay wines, which makes Stobi's silver medal the more remarkable.
-This is a huge achievement for us, for our philosophy and approach in making wine, and speaks volumes for the quality of our wine" says visibly pleased Dane Jovanov, Director at Stobi Winery.
Stobi Winery beat out stiff competition from wine makers from Spain, Italy, France, Chile, Australia, New Zealand etc.

Divers clear explosives from Macedonia lake

Ohrid lake - Macedonia.
Special teams of divers have cleared some four tonnes of explosives from Lake Ohrid in southwestern Macedonia, a protected UNESCO World Heritage site, the MIA news agency said Thursday."There were unexploded mines, bombs and different munitions for the Balkans wars in the 1900s, World War I and World War II... that posed a potential danger to the population," the interior ministry said in a statement quoted by MIA.The 358-square-kilometre (138-square-mile) lake is the deepest in the Balkans at 288 metres (945 feet). It straddles the border between Macedonia and Albania and has a unique ecosystem with more than 200 endemic species.According to Ekrem Zendeli, an environmental protection official, some 23,000 square metres of the lake have been cleared of explosives since the start of the operation in 2007.Over the years around 20 tonnes of explosives had been taken from the lake, Macedonia's main tourist attraction.

Macedonia cancels visas for Russians

Macedonian Foreign Ministry has announced cancellation of short-stay visas for citizens of Russia until March 15, 2013. This was announced Tuesday by Russia’s Ambassador to Macedonia, Oleg Scherbakov.
A visa to Macedonia will not be required for a visit of up to 90 days from the date of first crossing the border, for a period of six months.
This will enable more Russians to travel to Macedonia without going through an application and visa process.

21 March 2012

4,000 Job openings announced at German car maker in Kavadarci

The German Dräxlmaier Group at its website announces vacant positions for highly skilled managers and professionals for the launch of new production facility in Kavadarci with over 4.000 employees.
The investment in Macedonia will amount €30 million. Minister of Foreign Investments Vele Samak has recently announced the amount of the investment and number of new jobs.
The company will open production facility for electrical installations and cables this year, offering jobs to 4,000 employees in the next 3 years. The products from the factory in Macedonia will be installed in Mercedes cars in Germany, Samak said.
The Dräxlmaier Group is an international company founded in 1958 in Germany and produces automotive specific cables, spare parts and electrical equipment for cars. The Dräxlmaier Group has a global presence on four continents, in over 20 countries, at over 50 locations.

Reconstruction of Katlanovo-Veles highway section resumes

Skopje, 12 March 2012 (MIA) - As of Monday, "Granit" construction company will continue activities to reconstruct the section of Katlanovo - Veles highway.
During the construction works in the period of 2 to 3 hours, the road will be fully closed, Auto Moto Association of Macedonia (AMSM) reports.
The construction works will be conducted every day from 7.30am to 15.30pm. sk/9:08

Artworks of colony "Vevcani Meetings" displayed in Skopje museum

Exhibition of 35 works created at international art colony "Vevcani Meetings" over the past two years will open in the Museum of the City of Skopje on Tuesday evening, organized by foundation for strategic research "Kiro Gligorov" and company "Via Vevcani".
The exhibition, to be open until April 1, includes artworks by painters from Macedonia, Serbia, Russia, Albania and Bulgaria.
"The colony aims to promote cultural values inspired by Vevcani's beauties, cultural monuments and its springs, but also to bring closer artists from Macedonia, the region and beyond", said Museum director Ljubica Kondijanova at Monday's press conference.
The Vevcani art colony is annually held by the end of June and the beginning of July.

Agreements on construction of 21 small hydro power plants

Twenty-one small hydro power plants with total installed capacity of 23MW and projected annual output of 87GWh are to be constructed in Macedonia over the next three years, an investment estimated at EUR 40 million.
Two Italian and eight Macedonian companies will build the hydro plants, following Monday's signing of the concession agreements at the Ministry of Economy.
Minister Valon Saraqini said the plants would be constructed at rivers Bistrica, Pena, Brza Voda, Kriva Reka, Odranska, Beloviska, Baciska, Jablanica, bringing the total number of concession agreements for small hydro plants to 68.
"The prior 47 agreements include plants with total installed capacity of 34,7MW and annual output of 140GWh", he added.
The total investment for all hydro power plants is worth EUR 100 million.The next procedure for allocation of water concessions for electricity production would be implemented by the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, in line with the Law on Waters.

19 March 2012

Israeli experts to conduct rural tourism training in Struga

Local Development Agency Struga in cooperation with the Faculty of Tourism - Ohrid, Centre for Development of Southwest Planning Region with main office in Struga, Tourism Cluster and GIZ will organise a training for trainers in the field of rural tourism which will be conducted March 19 to 29.
Trainers will be Israel's top experts in the field of rural tourism. After completing the training, candidates will receive a certificate from Israel's Agency for International Development Cooperation.

SOS free phone line 15 505 launched

As of Sunday people can report misuse of children, paedophilia, mistreatment of homeless and old people on SOS free phone line 15 505.
New SOS phone line was launched Sunday by Labour Minister Spiro Ristovski who said that people now can report persons who at social risks to the institutions of the system.
Every citizen either minor or adult deserves adequate care if they find themselves once in a lifetime in a situation of social risk. We call citizens if they notice street children exploited by adults to call 15 505 thus saving their lives. With one call we can save many children who find themselves at social risk as alcohol and drug abuse, cigarettes smoking, Ristovski said.
Also citizens can report homeless persons on the same free SOS phone line in order to help homeless and old persons with food, medications, etc. Also any suspicions of child abuse should be reported on this phone line aimed at helping every child and to prevent paedophilia, Minister Ristovski said.

Mak Hotels get a new ranking system

Macedonian hotel owners will face stiff new rules if they wish to keep their stars/ratings.
The Macedonian Ministry of Economy has created a rigorous set of rules that will apply for categorization and rankings for hotels to follow. For instance the new rules will mean some of the hotels will have to expand their rooms, others to have educated employees, pools, to accept credit cards etc.
The new law is already moving quickly through Parliament and will soon be passed.
According to the new rules, hotels with one star must have a minimum of 10 rooms. Those with three stars must have minimum of 15 rooms, while those with four and five stars must have a minimum of 20 rooms.
Each four star hotel must have a pool, and to earn the five stars ranking they must have at the very least a spa and a fitness center.
Regardless whether hotels are one or five stars, all must accept credit cards, while each employee must speak at least one foreign language.
Because Macedonia has many large hotels (more than 50 rooms), the law instructs each hotel to have at least one room designed for handicapped individuals for every 30 rooms. In the past it was for every 50 rooms.
According to the Ministry of Economy, out of the 200 hotels in the country, 190 are ranked. Eleven hotels have 5 stars.
All hotels will have two years after the passing of the law to meet the new requirements.

Before the Rain continues success 16 years after release

Film "Before the Rain" of Milco Mancevski resumes with its international success almost two decades after its premiere.
The film has recently been released by Brazil's "Luma Films". Director Frederico Machado says it is a great honor for them to distribute the film that triumphed at the 1995 Sao Paulo film festival.
"Before the Rain" has also appeared at the Chinese market. It is one of the most influential films in Chinese film academies.
The film has also been included in cycle "Great Films of the Short Century" in Tuscany, organized in cooperation with film academy "Anna Magnani". "Before the Rain" closes the revue, which presents classics, on May 14.
Moreover, Austrian director Goetz Spielmann has put Mancevski's film among the top ten films of all times, in the company of Fellini, Tarkowski, Antonioni etc.

14 March 2012

PM Gruevski calls Indian businessmen to invest in Macedonia

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski Monday in New Delhi called upon Indian businessmen to invest in Macedonia and to utilise its competitive advantages. He promised maximum support by government institutions for realisation of their investments and business projects with Macedonian companies.
- Mittal Steel, the Samvardhana Motherson Group and Binani Group are Indian investments in Macedonia that have excellent experience in doing business, Gruevski said at the Business Forum in New Delhi, organised by the Confederation of Indian Industry, the Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India (ASSOCHAM) and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), which was attended by more than 120 Indian companies.
Gruevski emphasised the size of the Indian economy, its growth that rose 20 times in two decades and twice increased participation of Indian export of goods and services in global export as well as Indian export of capital, reads the Government's press release.
He referred to business environment reforms in the past 6 years and evaluation by the World Bank 2012 Doing Business Report for Macedonia being third best reformer in the world. He also introduced investors with economic policies and investment opportunities. He pointed out macroeconomic results, average inflation rate of 2.5% in the past decade and access to 650 million European consumers under the free-trade regime.
He further added low budget deficit and careful indebtedness and low tax regime highlighting tax exemption on investments and retained earnings in the country.
Aggarwal, Chairman of ASSOCHAM, Devin Narang, FICCI Executive Committee Member and Chairman and Ganapathi, Secretary (West), Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, also addressed the forum expressing satisfaction for participation at such event for the first time where Macedonia's investment opportunities are presented and pointed out that fast-growing Indian economy constantly sees opportunities for internationalisation of its production and services and thereby boosting economic relationship between India and Macedonia.
Minister for Foreign Investments Bill Pavleski and Directorate for Technological Industrial Development Zones manager Viktor Mizo introduced Indian businessmen in details about business opportunities and competitive advantages in several spheres in Macedonia.Deputy PM Zoran Stavrevski in his presentation emphasized the increased competitiveness of Macedonia's economy, especially in fiscal policy, Regulatory Guillotine and investment opportunities in sectors like road, railways and energy.
Gruevski and Stavreski held tęte-ŕ-tęte meetings with several interested Indian companies.
Government delegation from here leaves for another Business Forum in New Delhi, which is organised by Sahara India Pariwar Group.

Kon Tiki Sky to connect Skopje with 14 locations

Serbian airline Kon Tiki Sky, part of Travel company Kon Tiki Travel has announced beginning May 1st they will be flying out of Alexander the Great airport to 14 locations.
The first destination is Antwerp, Belgium twice weekly, while beginning June 18, Kon Tiki Sky will connect Skopje to Stuttgart, Hamburg, Berlin, Malmo and Istanbul. Three weekly flights will be scheduled to Ancona, Milan and Bologna, while four weekly flights are scheduled to Rome, Trieste, Bratislava and Dusseldorf. Basel, Switzerland will have 5 weekly flights.
The prices of the tickets will be around 50 EUR to the cities nearby and 70 to 90 EUR to the cities in northern Europe. These prices are one way.

Macedonia Salon presentation in Budapest

Embassy of the Republic of Macedonia in Budapest hosted Thursday an evening discussion dedicated to the Republic of Macedonia titled "Macedonia Salon", organized in partnership with one of the leading Hungarian think-tanks "The New Society Salon".
The think-tank organizes monthly thematic salon evening discussions on given current topics from the domestic and international scene.
In front of over 100 Hungarian politicians, businessmen, journalists and NGOs representatives, Macedonia's Ambassador to Hungary Darko Angelov delivered a presentation on Macedonia, current political developments, economy and investment potentials, possibilities for enhanced trade and tourism cooperation, as well as brief outlook on Macedonian culture and history.
Hungarian Minister of State for Government Communications Zoltan Kovacs and editor-in-chief of the foreign policy desk at the Hungarian News Agency, Botond Heledy were also in attendance.
Macedonian wine was served at the event, whereas Hungarian trio of performers of traditional instruments led by Zoltan Szabo performed Macedonian folklore music.

13 March 2012

Four souvenir Shops open in Skopje

Four souvenir shops opened in downtown Skopje on Wednesday, first of the 20 unified tourism-cultural points in several Macedonian cities (Ohrid, Bitola, Struga, Berovo etc) and three border crossings (Tabanovce, Bogorodica and Deve Bair).
The shops sell replicas of displays in the Museum of Macedonia - items excavated at archaeological sites or applications of authentic jewelry, copies of the monuments throughout the country, puzzles, key chains, magnets etc.
Culture Minister Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska said souvenirs aim towards cultural and tourism promotion, but are also intended for Macedonian citizens.
"These shops are of enormous significance for Macedonia's tourism promotion. There is a large spectre of items, whereas prices are lower compared to other countries", added Kanceska-Milevska.

05 March 2012

Energy Emergency ends, Skopje lit up again

The energy crisis state commission concluded Tuesday there is no need to extend the energy crisis states beyond February 29, whereas EVN Macedonia should launch a procedure of restoring public lighting back to normal, said commission chair and Macedonian Power Plants (ELEM) director Vlatko Cingoski at Tuesday's press conference.
He said that 6,000MWh of electricity were saved in public lighting and illuminating ads since the introduction of the measure a couple of weeks ago.
"Macedonia's energy system has been stable over the past fortnight, energy transit was normal, no restrictions were introduced for consumers", said Cingoski, adding the commission's recommendations would be forwarded to the Government.
However, he added, citizens should continue to use electricity in a rational way, especially with regards to heating.

Strumica Carnival 2012 is in Full Swing

This year's Strumica Carnival kicked off late on Saturday with a 3,000-strong masquerade.
During a three-hour carnival program, masked participants paraded the town streets and the square, in the attendance of representatives of the International Carnival Cities Association and the diplomatic corps in Macedonia.
Over 30,000 guests witnessed the unforgettable image of colors, sounds and creations, followed by all-night parties in Strumica clubs.
Federation European of Carnival Cities (FECC) President Henk Ferdinand Van Der Kroon presented carnival groups "Starry City" and "Moulin Rouge" with medals honoring their long-standing participation at the Strumica Carnival.
The awards to the best masks will be presented on Tuesday.

Skiing: Slovenian Brajovic wins Shar Mountain Cup

Slovenian skier Gregor Brajovic is the winner of the 39. Sarplaninski Cup, held at Popova Sapka winter resort over the weekend.
Brajovic posted the best overall time in the slalom and giant slalom races, followed by Igor Laikert from Bosnia&Herzegovina and Dardan Dehari from Macedonia.
Brajovic was rewarded with EUR 3,000 for the win and the Cup trademark - a 'sarplaninec' dog."
My father will keep the puppy first, but I will take it to my new house once I finish it. With regards to the races, I am very satisfied from both wins", said Brajovic upon receiving the Cup.
The Sarplaninski Cup is held under the Government's auspices, whereas Slovenian ski legend Bojan Krizaj is the competition director.

01 March 2012

Macedonian wine, cheese recommended to Swedish TV viewers

In the framework of the national Eurovision song contest, Swedish daily "Metro" has published an interview with members of popular orchestra Andra Generationen (Second Generation).
Second Generation is an orchestra comprised of Swedish musicians of Macedonian descent, widely popular in the country in recent years. They took part at 2010 national Eurovision song contest "Melodifestivalen".
In the interview, Second Generation members recommend Macedonian specialties for a better mood while following "Melodifestivalen".
"Galicnik cheese from Macedonia's Mavrovo region, tavce-gravce, ajvar, baked paprika in oil, rakija from Macedonian grapes we call 'the yellow devil', as well as wines 'Alexandria', 'T'ga za jug'", recommend Second Generation members.