On 6 August 2017, VMRO-DPMNE’s leader Nikola Gruevski visited the Municipality of Zelenikovo to scan the situation with the raging wildfires. He criticized the current government, emphasizing that it cannot deal with the fires, and used the occasion to state:
It’s been 20 days and they still cannot put out the fires, there’s already a victim in M. Brod, 5 houses went up in flames and nobody bats an eye, there’s neither help, nor accommodation.
[Source: Kurir, Date: 07 August 2017]
We consider this statement of Gruevski as untruthful.
The statement of the leader of VMRO-DPMNE saying that the fires in Macedonia have claimed a victim in Makedonski Brod is incorrect. So far, the media haven’t reported on somebody’s loss of life due to the fires, and this has also been denied both by the Ministry of Interior (MOI) and the Protection and Rescue Directorate (PRD).
There isn’t a victim in Makedonski Brod, and all of our forces are on site – firefighters, soldiers, the Army’s helicopters, two helicopters from Bulgaria and Turkey, volunteers and civil servants are putting out the fires as well, is said in RRD’s statement for Deutsche Welle.
Truthmeter received a confirmation by the MOI that there hasn’t been a single reported or registered human victim claimed by the fires in Makedonski Brod.
There’s been only one burnt body in the Ljuboten village, which was covered in a police report, but according to our investigation the reason is a family dispute in which the husband burned his wife, the MOI says.
Prior the statement of its leader Nikola Gruevski, VMRO-DPMNE published a press release informing the public that “SDSM’s incompetence claimed the first victim in the fires”.
The inadequate approach of SDS to the fires claimed the first victim in the Ljuboten village near Skopje, where a burnt body has been found. A life has been lost, which otherwise with a prompt reaction of the institutions would have been saved, VMRO-DPMNE said, Makfax reports.
However, on 4 August 2017, the MOI informed on the burnt body found in Ljuboten.
The burnt human body was found last night on a meadow near the Ljuboten village, the Sector for Internal Affairs Skopje reports. At around 11:30 PM last night, the police received a call that the meadow is burning after which the police went on site and when the fire was put out a burnt human body was found. Upon the order of public prosecutor, the body has been transferred to the coronial service, Meta reports.
All of this clearly indicates that VMRO-DPMNE spun MOI’s information, which was later spiced up by Gruevski who added “a victim in Makedonski Brod”. Such information was denied by the MOI and the PRD as well. Therefore, we can conclude that Gruevski’s statement, saying that the fires have claimed a human victim, is incorrect.
- Kurir (07 August 2017) – Груевски на терен со граѓаните кај пожарите во Зелениково: Владата не покажува грижа, потребен е одговорен пристап [Accessed on 08 August 2017]
- Makfax (06 August 2017) – ВМРО-ДПМНЕ: Неспособноста на СДСМ ја однесе првата жртва од пожарите [Accessed on 08 August 2017]
- Meta (04 August 2017) – Најдено изгорено човечко тело кај селото Љуботен [Accessed on 08 August 2017]
- Deutsche Welle (07 August 2017) – Груевски со батериска ламба тргна во изборна кампања [Accessed on 08 August 2017]
- VMRO-DPMNE’s official website (07 August 2017) – Груевски на терен со граѓаните кај пожарите во Зелениково: Владата не покажува грижа, потребен е одговорен пристап [Accessed on 08 August 2017]
- Time.mk (06 August 2017) – ВМРО-ДПМНЕ: Пожарите ја зедоа првата жртва, СДСМ мора да сноси одговорност [Accessed on 08 August 2017]
Assessed by: Ana Anastasovska