Every denar from the “public” money must be public

 

 

In a speech on the foreign investments, Nikola Gruevski gave the following statement, which we consider to be untruthful:

N.G.: …The announced publishing of a kind of officially published state assistance pricelist, or whatever they call it, will result with plenty of lost battles for attracting foreign companies to open new vacancies in Macedonia…

If until recently I was wondering whether the new government knows how to attract foreign investors, now I am wondering if it actually wants to

[Source: VMRO-DPMNE, website, date: 3 September 2017]

 

EXPLANATION:

In his lengthy speech on the foreign investments in the country, Nikola Gruevski, VMRO-DPMNE’s leader and an MP, assessed the transparency of the subsidies granted by the government according to its business policies, and we deem his assessment untruthful.

In addition to all statements and assessments on who has known how and who has had the intention to attract foreign investments, and also whether they are truly the key propellant of the economy and the export (we should not forget that the import increases simultaneously), Gruevski says that government’s decision to declassify data on state money injected in the business with foreign companies that have invested in Macedonia would be suicidal to foreign investments’ future:

The announced publishing of a kind of officially published state assistance pricelist, or whatever they call it, will result with plenty of lost battles for attracting foreign companies to open new vacancies in Macedonia…

Gruevski didn’t give more serious arguments, except that he hasn’t witnessed the countries from the region to do the same…

Government’s decision to reveal the data is completely correct and complies with the democratic principle of openness in the spending of public money. The citizens have the right, stipulated by the domestic legislature, the Law on Government and the Constitution of the RM, to know where has the state spent every denar, and of course they have the right to know where has the government spent every denar, as the main “spender” of mutual money flowing into the budget.

Let us remind that Gruevski’s government had established different degrees of secrecy for the state subsidies for foreign investors, and oftentimes the subsidies were classified as “state secret”. This was the answer provided to the media that have requested data from the institutions regarding individual cases, in accordance with the Law on Access to Public Information.

Unfortunately, not only the media were given such a response. This degree of secrecy was applied to MPs in the Parliament of the Republic of Macedonia when they were reviewing a certain government’s report on foreign investments or asking a question related to this topic. This is absolutely inadmissible, because the government should be held accountable before the citizens, who are represented by the MPs in the Parliament of the RM.

Aside from this main argument why data on state subsidies for foreign investments must be transparent, some economic experts have also pledged for transparency of these data. Their most important argument is that the data will serve as a baseline for thorough and precise analysis as well as assessment of the entire economic policy of the government.

It’s highly important, especially for evaluation of the effects of this policy of attracting foreign direct investments, because they were often criticized, however the criticism was oftentimes lump, both the positive and the negative, precisely because of the lack of information for making the evaluation – says professor Marjan Petreski in a conversation for 24 Vesti.

His position is shared by the economic expert Pavle Gacov, who also adds that when the spending of the public money is concealed, it becomes suspicious, because the motives are usually lucrative.

Although there are other segments in Gruevski’s lengthy speech on the foreign investments that are disputable and can be assessed as partially truthful or untruthful, still the statement on the need of keeping the state subsidies for foreign investments secret is a complete untruth. It is also unacceptable that it would be better if they remain secret, or that the foreign investors would stop investing in Macedonia.

 

SOURCE:

 

Assessed by: Teo Blazhevski

 


This article was created within the framework of the Project to increase the accountability of the politicians and political parties Truthmeter implemented by Metamorphosis. The article is made possible by the generous support of the National Endowment for Democracy(NED) and The Balkan Trust for Democracy (BTD), a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States, an initiative that supports democracy, good governance, and Euroatlantic integration in Southeastern Europe. The content is the responsibility of its author and does not necessarily reflect the views of Metamorphosis, National Endowment for Democracy, the Balkan Trust for Democracy, the German Marshall Fund of the United States, or its partners.

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