31 August 2012

Kempinski Hotels delegation visits Macedonia

High officials from the Kempinski hotel group today and Thursday are paying a working visit to Macedonia, which is organised by the Agency for Foreign Investments and Export Promotion.

Kempinski officials will meet potential partners for mutual investment. Kempinski hotel group has shown interest for opening a five star hotel in Skopje and Ohrid.

29 August 2012

Conditions created for direct flights between Macedonia and US

A legal framework establishing direct regular and charter flights between Macedonia and the United States is provided by an air traffic agreement between the countries that was signed Thursday in Skopje by Minister of Transport and Communications Mile Janakieski and U.S. Deputy Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs, Philip Reeker.
By signing the agreement, conditions are created to start lobbying with airlines showing possible interest to launch flights between Macedonia and the U.S., according to the Minister.
"As soon as tomorrow, we'll start lobbying and stimulating airlines to point out this possibility and benefits offered by Macedonian airports first and foremost. I expect interest to be shown, however it depends on the business logic and commercial aspect of establishing flights," Janakieski said after signing the treaty.
The document, he elaborated, opens opportunities to expand Macedonia's aviation market, to improve bilateral ties and to advance the services for passengers.
On his part, Reeker said that the U.S. international aviation policy was based on market competitiveness, whereas the agreement implied trust toward Macedonia.
According to Reeker, the open sky treaty lifted all administrative hurdles for establishing air connection between Macedonia and the United States.
"We want to do everything we can to strengthen the relations between the U.S. and Macedonia. By signing the accord, we will boost the economic cooperation and bilateral ties, especially this time when the focus is on economy, economic growth and reforms that are crucial," the U.S. diplomat stressed adding that promoting Macedonia's development was a long-term important priority for the U.S.
An effective air transport, Reeker noted, is a precondition to develop the industrial, financial, trade and tourist sector. International air connections are key for the transportation of passengers and goods. It is estimated that 40% of the global trade is accomplished through air transportation.
"Consequently, the message is clear, every country needs to create air connections in order to do trade," Reeker concluded adding that Macedonia become one of the 90 open-sky partners of the United States.
The signing of the Macedonia-U.S. air traffic agreement comes after the text of an open sky agreement and a memorandum were initialed in 2011.

Macedonia marks 102. anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth

A premiere of 'Living With Mother Teresa' - work of art of Japanese Director Shigeki Chiba - will mark the 102nd anniversary of Mother Teresa's birth.
The film, produced in 2010 to mark her birth centenary, depicts how the spirit of Mother Teresa has been transferred in Japan; Japanese medical interns working in the House for The Dying in Calcutta, volunteers working for the hospice called "Hope House" in Sanya, Tokyo, and Sisters and Brothers of Mother Teresa, living with lonely elderly and homeless persons.
The film will be presented Sunday evening in the Mother Teresa Memorial House in Skopje.
Earlier today, the state 'Mother Teresa' awards for humanity and solidarity will be presented at the Army House in Skopje.
Mother Teresa was born Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu in Skopje on August 26, 1910. Her family was of Albanian descent. "By blood, I am Albanian. By citizenship, an Indian. By faith, I am a Catholic nun. As to my calling, I belong to the world. As to my heart, I belong entirely to the Heart of Jesus."
In late 2003, she was beatified, the third step toward possible sainthood. A second miracle credited to Mother Teresa is required before she can be recognized as a saint by the Catholic church.
Mother Teresa founded the Missionaries of Charity, a Roman Catholic religious congregation, which in 2012 consisted of over 4,500 sisters and is active in 133 countries. Members of the order must adhere to the vows of chastity, poverty and obedience, and the fourth vow, to give "Wholehearted and Free service to the poorest of the poor". The Missionaries of Charity at the time of her death had 610 missions in 123 countries including hospices and homes for people with HIV/AIDS, leprosy and tuberculosis, soup kitchens, children's and family counselling programmes, orphanages and schools.
For over 45 years, she ministered to the poor, sick, orphaned, and dying, while guiding the Missionaries of Charity's expansion, first throughout India and then in other countries. Her beatification by Pope John Paul II following her death (September 5, 1997) gave her the title "Blessed Teresa of Calcutta".
She was the recipient of numerous honours including the 1979 Nobel Peace Prize. She refused the conventional ceremonial banquet given to laureates, and asked that the $192,000 funds be given to the poor in India.

28 August 2012

Orthodox faithful in Macedonia celebrate Assumption of Mother of God

Orthodox believers in Macedonia are celebrating Tuesday one of the most important Christian holidays - the Assumption of the Holy Mother of God.

The observance kicked off last night with evening masses in all temples of the Macedonian Orthodox Church. Today, believers are visiting all churches and monasteries bearing the name of the Mother of God.

She is considered to be a protector of all Christians and the City of Skopje. Traditionally, a great gathering is being organized in Dolna Matka monastery, crowned by a holly mass. President Gjorgi Ivanov has attend the religious ceremony.
The Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven, informally known as The Assumption, according to the Christian beliefs, was the bodily taking up of the Virgin Mary into Heaven at the end of her earthly life.

Carriage Ride through Skopje, Starting Next Month

Skopje selected the firm for the supply of a carriage as part of the coach which will be used for rides through the capital.
Tehnometal Vardar is selected as the best bidder.
In the next two weeks, the firm is obliged to procure a carriage. Daily newspaper Dnevnik reported that the carriage will cost 14,000 euros.
It will be a great tourist attraction. After this purchase, horses will be supplied as well.
They are placed on the agenda in two weeks, because the supply of horses is carried out as early as September.
The horses will be kept in the zoo and trained persons will take care for them.
The coach’s route is still not defined.
This project will cost 40 thousand euros, and the money is provided by the City of Skopje.

27 August 2012

Poetry evening of 2012 SEP laureate Serote

The creative work of this year's  laureate of Struga Poetry Evenings (SEP) - South African poet Mongane Wally Serote - will be presented late Saturday in 'St. Sophia' cathedral church in Ohrid.
President Gjorge Ivanov will attend the event.
The Golden Wreath will be presented to Serote on Sunday at the international poetry event "Bridges" which is being traditionally held at "Bridge of Poetry" on the river Drim in Struga.
The 51st Struga Poetry Evenings (SPE) opened Thursday by traditional reading of poem T'ga za jug ('Longing for the South').
The festival, which closes Aug. 28, will be attended by famous poets from Azerbaijan, France, India, Cuba, Iraq, Greece, Syria, Morocco.

21 August 2012

Macedonia gripped by new heatwave

Macedonia is once again gripped by a new heat wave, which will bring high temperatures and UV index.
According to the announcement from the National Hydrometeorological Service, the temperature today will reach 38 degrees, and up to 41 Degrees Celsius in the next three days. The UV index will be 8 and 9.
According to the Service, lowering of the temperatures can be expected on Monday.

Macedonia gets €46.4 million for construction of railway line to Bulgaria

Macedonia officially gets €46.4 million loan from European Bank for Development and Reconstruction for start of construction of Kumanovo – Beljakovce railway section that will connect us with Bulgaria.
Deputy PM and Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski and the EBRD’s Director for Transport, Sue Barrett signed Tuesday loan agreement.
Stavreski said that the conditions under which EBRD grants the loan to Macedonia are significantly favourable with 15 year repayment period, 4 year grace period and interest rate which currently amounts 1.7%.

Railway to Bulgaria - A dead end.
The project foresees modernisation of this link - Section 1 of Macedonia Railway Corridor VIII - Eastern Section, Kumanovo – Beljakovce at length of 30.8 kilometres. The construction of section is to start in the first quarter of 2013 while field works are to be completed in three to four years. The tender for construction is to be announced next month.
This corridor will develop a transportation system that will contribute to increasing trade between Albania, Macedonia and Bulgaria. It will improve both access and connection with neighbouring countries and thus increase the competitiveness and development of the economy, as well as communication with European countries, said Stavreski.

The EBRD’s Director for Transport, Sue Barrett, said, "Once the entire Corridor VIII is operational, it will give Macedonia a shorter route to Black Sea ports. It is also expected to stimulate the regional economy by making transportation flows easier."
The project is supported by a substantial grant funding totalling €4 million provided by the EU’s Western Balkans Investment Framework for project design, tender preparation and implementation assistance. Introduction of an energy management system will also be supported by a €175,000 grant from the Central European Initiative.

The project is also expected to stimulate reform in further areas such as track access charges being in line with EU rail sector guidelines and the commercialisation of non-core assets across the company. The project also envisages an energy efficiency programme to improve the energy performance of the company.
To date the EBRD has invested over €1 billion in about 80 projects in Macedonia.

20 August 2012

Siemens to supply 16 wind turbines to Macedonia

Macedonian power producer ELEM said on Friday it signed a 41.1 million euro ($50.7 million) deal with Danish-based Siemens Wind and Greek-based Siemens AS for the supply of 16 wind turbines for Macedonia's first wind park.

The installed capacity of each of the turbines is 2.3 megawatts (MW), ELEM said in a statement.

The implementation of the project located in the southern municipality of Bogdanci will start later this month and should be completed within 13 months. Electricity production should begin in the second half of 2013.

16 August 2012

Number of airport passengers increases

The number of passengers at the two airports in Macedonia has increased by 6.1 percent over the past two months, compared to the same period in 2011.

The Ministry of Transport and Communications said in Thursday's press release that 200,516 passengers were transported at Skopje-based "Alexander the Great" and Ohrid-based "St. Paul the Apostle" in June and July, compared to the 189,019 in the same period last year.

Most notable is the rise in the number of passengers at the Ohrid airport, where 28,658 were registered, a 16.5-percent increase from last year.
In addition, the number of passengers at the Skopje airport amounted to 171,858, which is 4.5 percent higher compared to 2011.

14 August 2012

Multimillionaire Subrata Roy wants to build a Las Vegas in Macedonia

In a statement for the Indian newspaper “Financial chronicle” the head of the company “Sahara India Parivar,” said that he plans to build a complex of casinos, hotels and entertainment centers in Macedonia.

-The concept of the design we made for “Las Vegas” will be proposed to the Macedonian government in September and the structural design early in next year. Once approved, we hope to start working on it in a year and a half, says Roy.

The multimillionaire, who after his visit to the country in the middle of June announced a major investment in Macedonia, did not say for the newspaper exactly how much the planned project would cost.
Impressed with the people in Macedonia and the country itself, Roy said he plans to invest in something huge.

-I intend to start a business that would result in a great production that will be exported. I want my business here to draw many tourists and help with employment, stated the Indian businessman.
Despite the announced “Las Vegas” project, the Indians have shown interest in investing in tourism, agriculture and mining.

13 August 2012

Government: EUR 3 million for direct tourism support

The Government will stimulate tourism development with EUR 3 million in 2013, expecting foreign currency revenues to exceed EUR 200 million.

Spokesman Aleksandar Gjorgjiev said at Monday's press conference the Government has passed a Program for Macedonia's tourism promotion and tourism support, worth EUR 2,5 million. Additional EUR 500,000 would be allocated through separate programs by ministries, stimulating the development of alternative, wine, rural, cultural, sports tourism etc.

"The Program also tackles subsidies for attraction of foreign tourists, which have been increased from the current EUR 800,000", added Gjorgjiev.
Macedonia had revenues in the amount of EUR 171 million from last year's tourism operations.

10 August 2012

Turbulent weather in Ohrid and Prespa region

Ohrid and Prespa region saw turbulent weather this evening. More than 40 liters of rain per sq. meters were measured in Ohrid

The rain was accompanied by 90km/h winds who knocked down trees and electric poles.

The Resen region avoided the brunt of the storm because of their timely firing of five anti-hail rockets who dispersed the clouds.

09 August 2012

Tose Proeski sculpture goes up at Art Bridge

A sculpture of late Macedonian singer Tose Proeski was erected at the Art Bridge on river Vardar in Skopje on Thursday.

The sculpture is part of 29 to be placed at the new bridge, 14 each on both sides and one in the center.

The central sculpture is dedicated to the Miladinov brothers, whereas the ones at the sides will represent renowned authors, artists, composers, actors etc.

06 August 2012

Macedonia in orange alert phase, temperatures to exceed 40C

Macedonia is set to enter the so-called orange alert phase on Tuesday, with temperatures exceeding 40C.
The Health Ministry commission urges citizens to observe preventive measures in order to reduce risks from high temperatures.
According to the Action Plan for the population's protection from high temperatures, employers are recommended to spare most vulnerable groups, namely pregnant women and persons over the age of 60, from work. Kindergartens are recommended to refrain from taking children out in the open from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Moreover, construction companies are urged to follow regulations with regards to exposure of workers.
Stay in closed, air-conditioned rooms. During the day, close windows and shutters; at night when the outside temperature is lower, open windows and shutters.
Wear light and loose fitting clothes (light colours reflect light) of natural materials and, if exposed to direct sunlight, a brimmed hat or cap and sunglasses.
Eat several small, light meals a day. Avoid food which contains fat and high-calories, as well as food with a lot of sugar.
Drink plenty of fluids (do not wait to become thirsty), including regular drinks of water and non-alcohol beverages. Avoid beverages with alcohol, caffeine and extremely cold beverages.
When driving, keep the vehicle window open for ventilation. Completely closed vehicles become too hot. Do not leave anybody in the vehicle!
People who are chronically ill, especially those with cardiovascular, neurological or pulmonary illnesses, need to be especially vigilant in following these recommendations and taking their medicines. For any changes in the medical condition, consult your doctor.
Consume cooked food immediately after preparation. If this is not the case, the prepared food should be stored in the refrigerator at 8°C and heated to at least 100°C before consumption!
Avoid products containing raw food, such as home-made mayonnaise (eggs). Care should also be taken when consuming ice-cream and different creams!
Avoid strenuous physical activities (including sport and recreational activities) during the hottest time of the day. Do them before 10 a.m. or after 5 p.m.
If you have to go outdoors in this period, take frequent rests in the shade and avoid direct exposure to the sun.
Take cool showers or baths several times a day. Alternatives include cold packs and wraps, foot baths, etc.

05 August 2012

O'Neal: Time for Macedonia to enter UN as Macedonia

Now it’s the right time when the Republic of Macedonia can rightfully seek from the UN General Assembly and from those 130+ countries that have already recognised it under its constitutional name, to agree to be recognised in the world organisation under this name.
British diplomat and first international mediator in Greek-Macedonia name dispute, Robin O'Neil, assessed this in an interview with MTV's ‘Porta’ program.
The recent visit of the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon to Macedonia means support, who commented that current dispute is ‘regretful’ and should be ‘urgently’ resolved adding that he is personally committed to help in this, O’Neil said.
He explained that two foreign political goals of the Macedonian Government – sooner membership in NATO and EU and resolving the name dispute are connected, but are not identical, adding that 1995 Interim Accord offers solutions to first of the two problems. The Government in Greece agreed in Article 11.1 of this Accord that will not hinder admission of Macedonia in international organisations under the name FYR of Macedonia.
The International Court of Justice in the Hague verified that Greece is obliged to obey this obligation. As far as I know so far Macedonia has not submitted request to join in any of these two organisations under the name FYR of Macedonia. It should be remembered that the Interim Accord recognises the name FYR of Macedonia only as provisional name, O’Neil said.
The UN Security Council Resolution 817 (1993) is the same, which recommended Macedonia to be admitted in the UN under that name while the talks between Greece and Macedonia last. It is second important aspect of this issue for which entire international community agrees that the name issue is simply bilateral dispute between Greece and Macedonia, he said, adding that this is somehow forgotten by the international community.
The dispute between Macedonia and Greece is purely bilateral and accordingly other counties should not be interested in this. Other countries can be interested in the dispute if it is a threat for the peace or stability of the Balkans, but it is not the case. UN Security Council resolutions requested from Greece and Macedonia to resolve their bilateral dispute however in the period of 20 years Greece refused any kind of reasonable compromise.
Since the dispute is only between Greece and Macedonia one possible direction towards progress would be Greece in relations with Macedonia to use name different from “Republic of Macedonia,” and Macedonia to accept it in this relations. Macedonia would continue not to have problem to use the constitutional name of “Hellenic Republic” and I do not see any problem here, and I hope that Macedonia will be flexible in relation to the name, which Greece will use towards (it) Macedonia.
Such an agreement would only have bilateral meaning and the same will not be used or will have influence on the name under which Macedonia will be known in the UN or international organisations including here NATO and EU.
Commenting the statement of Daniel Serwer on importance of Macedonia’s admission in NATO as the factor of providing stability in the region, O’Neil reiterated his position saying “is the most relevant for Greece which has many direct interests in the stability of the region and in good-neighbourly relations with all around it.” This interest will be fully met through establishing close relations with Macedonia as member of the NATO and as EU partner, O’Neil said.
The name dispute is exaggerated as highly emotional political problem and for this no one should be blamed but political parties in Greece. Once resolved, it would show that the solution will not bring any wrong either to Greek state or Greek nation, Robin O'Neil said in his interview with MTV's  ‘Porta’ program.

World Paragliders go nuts after Macedonia

World's best paragliders are meeting in Krusevo for the 2012 world cup in paragliding. The participants are loving every second of their stay, here is how the Paragliding Federation describes Macedonia... 

"MACEDONIA - that unforgettable name evoking images of ancient, great civilizations and exotic adventure - is also a warm and welcoming modern-day republic.

A small and beautiful country nestled in the southeast of Europe, Macedonia offers its visitors a unique blend of natural wonders, traditions and cultures as well as a long tradition of unrivalled hospitality.

From their savoury cuisine to their love of music, dance and general merrymaking, Macedonians know how to make their guests feel at home. Combining these qualities with the country’s dramatic mountains and canyons, its deep lakes and rivers, Macedonia has something for everyone.

Macedonia is a predominantly mountainous country. The average altitude of the terrain is 850 meters. Highest peak is Golem Korab in Western Macedonia 2764m ASL. About 80% of the country consists of hills and mountains. Lucky them!"

01 August 2012

Sveta Petka hydro plant put into use

Sveta Petka hydro plant.

Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and Macedonian Power Plants (ELEM) director Vlatko Cingoski officially put into use Wednesday hydro plant "Sveta Petka".
The plant construction is worth EUR 75 million, which makes it one of the most expensive investments in the area of utilizing the country's energy potentials.
"After enormous efforts by all stakeholders and years of hard work, the project has been completed", said PM Gruevski.
Slovenian contractor "Riko" and Macedonian companies "Beton" and "Granit" as sub-contractors were involved in the project.
"The dam has been built, the reservoir has started to accumulate, and the system is ready for use. The missing link for the maximum use of river Treska's hydro potential has been set. The installed power of the hydro plant is 36,4MW and the annual output is about 66GWh. Sveta Petka completes the Skopsko Pole hydro system, which also includes Kozjak and Matka hydro plants", added Gruevski.
He referred to the fight for energy independence, including numerous projects for revitalization, enlargement and enhancement of Macedonia's energy system.
"Our work in this field will continue, whereas citizens will feel the benefits", said PM Gruevski.
ELEM director Cingoski stressed that the facility enriched the country from a technical, energy and economic aspect.
"The plant is fully automated and its operation can be remotely monitored and controlled by using the modern telecommunication and processing equipment", said Cingoski.