29 September 2013

Traditional rice harvesting begins in Kocani

The 22nd international manifestation "Days of Kocani Rice" resumed Sunday by traditional rice harvesting, presentation of agricultural machinery, home handicraft products and food prepared from rice. Agriculture Minister Ljupco Dimovski attended the event, who said that rice production in Macedonia has long tradition.

It is very important since it satisfies the needs of home market, it is export-oriented and engages numerous labour force for its production. Rice production notes increase in areas and quantities from 2008 to 2013 by 80% and in produced rice by 50%, Dimovski said.

This year rice producers will receive subsidies for a hectare of planted area from the programme for financial support in agriculture, Dimovski said. In regard to the cooperation with the Turkish International Co-operation Agency (TIKA), Dimovski said that project is being worked on for development of rice production which plans to promote highly productive types of rice.

26 September 2013

Macedonia and Czech Republic sign Economic Cooperation Agreement

Macedonia and the Czech Republic signed Wednesday a protocol defining the guidelines of the countries' economic and trade relations as part of the first-ever two-day session of the mixed committee for bilateral economic cooperation.

Czech Deputy Minister of Industry and Trade Milan Hovorka and Macedonia's Deputy Economy Minister Hristijan Delev signed the document and also served as co-chairs of the session, MIA reports from Prague.

At a meeting, they reviewed the potentials of the countries' economies and discussed future agreements for cooperation that are of mutual interest.

The joint committee comes as a result of the agreement on economic and industrial cooperation between the Macedonian and Czech governments signed in 2010.

"We are aware that we need to create an environment in which an economic cooperation will be enabled. Our objective is to establish a framework in which Czech and Macedonian companies will function as partners," Deputy Minister Hovorka told local media.

Underscoring his country's support for Macedonia's EU integration bid, the Czech Minister said the mixed committee discussed ways for providing assistance considering the fact that the Czech Republic was an EU member.

"The Czech Republic wants concrete cooperation with Macedonia in areas in which our EU integration experience would be of mutual interest, because sooner or later nothing will stand in the way between Macedonian manufacturers and their competitors in the Union," Hovorka stressed.

The Czech official added that huge potentials for cooperation existed in the field of energy, renewable resources, automotive industry, environment and agriculture.

During his visit to Prague, Deputy Minister Delev met with businessmen to promote Macedonia's investment opportunities.

The Macedonian delegation also paid a visit to the Czech automotive industry "Skoda" to meet with the company's management.

23 September 2013

Mavrovo Church among World's most beautiful abandoned churches

The abandoned church at the Mavrovo Lake heads the list of the most beautiful abandoned churches in the world, compiled by U.S. website "Huffington Post".

In the article titled "Abandoned Churches are Eerily Beautiful", there are photos from such churches from the United States, Belgium, Cambodia, France and Ireland.
"Though churches are normally places where people gather for spiritual fellowship, confession, or for quiet contemplation, these sacred spaces have been abandoned to the elements, their naves and pews standing silent and empty. Nonetheless, they still have a haunting beauty which comes through in these awesome photos", reads the comment.

16 September 2013

Macedonia - Kosovo flow of goods normalized

Economy Minister Valon Saraqini and Vice Premier for Economic Affairs Vladimir Pesevski paid a visit early Sunday to Blace border crossing to see first-hand if the free flow of goods, services and people between Macedonia and Kosovo has been reestablished.

Kosovo has ended the embargo for Macedonian products, prompting the removal of the entry fee for Kosovo citizens, as well as the truck blockades of "Makamtrans" at Jazince and Blace border crossings.

"I am pleased to say that misunderstandings between Kosovo and Macedonia have been overcome. This means that flow of goods, services and movement of people from both countries is ongoing without any restrictions. My top priority was finding a solution and overcoming of the situation, and this has been achieved as a result of the efforts by the countries' governments", said Minister Saraqini after the visit.
According to him, Kosovo and Macedonia are significant partners and it is in the interest of both countries to strengthen political and economic relations.

12 September 2013

Number of passangers at Macedonia's airports continues to rise

The number of passengers passing through the two Macedonian airports in August increased by 20.5% compared to the same month last year, new figures show released by TAV Macedonia - the operator of the Skopje-based "Alexander the Great" airport and "St. Paul the Apostle" airport in Ohrid.

The Skopje airport handled 115,023 passengers, up 23.1%, while the Ohrid airport was used by 16,463 passengers i.e. 131,486 passed through the two airports.
In the first eight months of 2013, compared to the same period last year, an increase in the number of passengers was recorded - a total of 732,831 people, up 17.5%. There has been also a rise in the number of flights. 8,489 operations of aircrafts were realized between January and August, which is a 9.9% increase compared to the same period in 2012. A significant increase of 16.2% was registered in August in comparison to the same month last year.

This increase comes as a result of introducing several additional flights per week by Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Croatia Airlines and Fly Dubai. During the summer season, flight were being realized weekly to popular tourist destinations, such as Antalya and Izmir and Sicily.

Istanbul followed by Vienna, London and Malmo were the most popular destinations from the Skopje airport in August, stated the press release. Istanbul, Vienna, Zurich, London and Ljubljana were the top five destinations between January and August. Most of the passengers traveled with Wizz Air, Turkish Airlines, Austrian Airlines, Adria Airways and Pegasus Airlines.

09 September 2013

Macedonia and UNMIK-Kosovo protectorate entering into an open trade war

Brussels reacts over the Macedonian-Kosovo dispute after the newly-formed Balkan country has reached a decision to ban the import of certain products from Macedonia, MIA reports from Brussels.

On Monday, the European Commission urged the parties involved in the dispute - which is turning into an embargo for Macedonian products in Kosovo as Macedonia is introducing fees for all Kosovo citizens entering the country - to abide by the obligations stemming from the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA).

"We aim to clarify the measures reported recently and we expect the parties to abide by their obligations stemming from the Central European Free Trade Agreement," EC spokesman Peter Stano told media.
In July, Macedonia imposed a measure to limit the import of wheat and flour from all members of the Central European Free Trade Agreement (CEFTA), including Kosovo, in an effort to protect domestic production.
The spokesman declined to say whether the EU would make any direct attempts in order to settle the trade dispute between Macedonia and Kosovo.

MINA's sources in Prishtina say the trade embargo in Kosovo is unfluenced by drug lord Moni Karliu who is known as a major wheat producer in NATO's protectorate.  He is also known as one of the biggest drug dealers in the Balkans and has most of Kosovo's parliament members on his payroll. Unhappy with Macedonian measure to limit wheat imports into the country, Karliu pressured the Kosovo government to impose counter measures. Similar thing happened between Kosovo and Albania few years ago.

This morning chaos on the Macedonian Kosovo border as Kosovo put the ramp on all Macedonian trucks entering the protectorate. 
The Macedonian Government is looking at imposing visas on Kosovo residents as a counter measure.

06 September 2013

Skopje City Walk: a self-guided tour around Skopje

The printed version of the Skopje City Walk is available for purchase in the city center of Skopje. The price is 200 denari (£2.70 / €3.20 / $4.25). There is also a digital version available for $2,99 (provided by the Dutch fans of City of Skopje, Sanne and Linda). Scroll down for more information on the e-book.
Points of sale print version in Skopje
- National Museum, Ulica Drvarska in the old historical center (Tue-Sun 09:00-17:00)
- Souvenir kiosks on several locations in the city center (Daily 10:00-22:00)
- Porta Makedonija, Ulica 11 Oktomvri next to the main square (Daily 09:00-21:00)
- Bookshop Kultura, Ulica Makedonija 51 (directly at the central square) (Daily 09:00-18:00)

Digital version
The digital version of the Skopje City Walk is available on the website of Smashwords, as epub, pdf, kindle, rtf, lrf and pdb.
On the website of Smashwords, you can view the first part of Skopje City Walk for free. If it made you enthusiastic, you can purchase the e-book for only $2.99.
More information at: http://www.skopjecitywalk.com/

05 September 2013

Gruevski-Miller: Macedonia-part of Gazprom's development plans

Russian energy giant Gazprom is interested in cooperating with Macedonia, which is already part of the company's development plans, Gazprom President Aleksey Miller said Wednesday at a meeting with Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Gazprom is also interested to review possibilities for other future investments in Macedonia, Miller said.
Gruevski and Miller discussed on the further realization of the South Stream project and concrete steps for its setting into operation, the Government said in a press release.

On July 23, Macedonia signed an agreement with the Russian Federation on cooperation in the construction of an offshoot of the South Stream gas pipeline in a bid to provide long-term gas supply in the country.
Construction works for South Stream have been already launched and the project is expected to be completed in 2018.

03 September 2013

Confucius Institute opens within SS. Cyril and Methodius University

President Gjorge Ivanov and Education Minister Spiro Ristovski are to attend Tuesday formal opening of Confucius Institute within SS. Cyril and Methodius University.

The establishment of Confucius Institute is in partnership between the SS. Cyril and Methodius University and Southwestern University of Finance and Economics (SWUFE) in Chengdu, the People's Republic of China and is a result of strengthening the cooperation in education between Macedonia and China.