The main issue is that they do nothing. They do not work. The image about Macedonia is not as pink as it seems from the comfortable armchairs in the building on “Ilindenska”, but the real image is out there, among the citizens who live their day to day lives, the same ones who were indebted with additional 455 million euros in just two months, i.e. every household with additional 1000 euros. While this is happening, the costs of living are raising, and the sole first position Macedonia occupies is the position of being first according to the corruption level in Europe. The solution: this Government has to fall.
[Source: Единствено решение за Македонија е заминување на оваа власт, Date: 19 March 2018]
We deem the abovementioned statement made by VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Hristijan Mickoski, to be untrue. The reason – it contains a slew of understated and incorrect elements.
First and foremost, it is unclear to which 455 million euros Mickoski has been referring for couple of months already. The last Eurobond issued by the Ministry of Finance to the international capital market, which is closest to this amount, dates from 11 January this year and is in the amount of 500 million euros with seven-year maturity deadline and 2.75% interest rate.
This is historically the lowest interest rate achieved for any of the Macedonian Eurobonds and it reflects the exclusively high confidence the international investors have in Macedonia’s economy’s outlook, as well as the favorable conditions on the international capital markets. Investors’ demand for the Macedonian Eurobond amounted to more than 3.5 billion euros, thus ensuring an annual interest rate of 2.75%, the Ministry of Finance said.
The interest rate of other Eurobonds, issued by the previous Government, ranged from 3.9% in 2014 to 4.8% in 2016.
Furthermore, the issuance of a 500 million euros Eurobond doesn’t necessarily mean that the country has incurred debt for the same amount of money, i.e. increased the public debt for the same amount.
As projected with the Budget for 2018, the Eurobond proceeds will be used as budget deficit support, and previously incurred debts will be repaid as well, including the first instalment under the PBG loan from 2013 in the amount of 95 million euros with maturity deadline by the end of January. For the first time, one third of the Eurobond in the amount of 270 million euros issued in 2015, with maturity deadline by the end of December 2020 and interest rate of 4.8%, will be partially and early repaid, the Ministry of Finance explained.
As evident from the quotation above, at least one third of the new Eurobond, if not more, will be allocated for repaying debts incurred previously by the former Government led by VMRO-DPMNE, hence it’s definitely not a matter of newly incurred debt of 455 million euros, let alone that each household has been indebted with additional amount of 1000 euros. And if Mickoski doesn’t refer to the new Eurobond when talking about these 455 million euros, then the problem is even bigger because there aren’t any other debts which correspond with these amounts that have been incurred in a period of 2 months.
The next reason why the aforesaid statement is deemed untruthful is because there is a part where Mickoski says that while the incumbent Government is incurring debts, the costs of living are raising, without bothering to elaborate more on the period he thinks of and the problem with the small growth of the costs of living, i.e. the small inflation. Just for the record, we were in a state of deflation 3 years in a row, which is worse than the inflation.
Below are the indexes of the annual costs of living in the past 5 years, and in the past 12 months, presented monthly:
Each number below index 100 signifies a decline. Here, it is shown that after 3 years of deflation, last year was marked by an inflation of 1.4%, which is totally fine, whereas if he refers to the first two months this year with regard to the same months last year, then it is correct that there is a mild inflation, which is normal and even desired, and what’s more important – within the projections of the Ministry of Finance and the National Bank. Not to mention that in January and February last year compared to the same months in 2016, when VMRO-DPMNE was in power, there was an inflation too. Therefore, the small growth of inflation or costs of living isn’t necessarily an adverse occurrence, especially if you’ve previously gone through a longer period of deflation. But Mickoski doesn’t care to explain any of this and instead he delivers one half-sentence and leaves the explanation hanging in the air, thus implying that something negative has happened, which is not true.
Lastly, VMRO-DPMNE’s president’s assertion that Macedonia occupies the first position when it comes to corruption level in Europe, is utterly problematic. This is simply incorrect.
What is correct is that according to Transparency International’s latest report, Macedonia has dropped from 90th position in 2016 to 107th in 2017 out of 180 countries, and this is the country’s worst results since this international organization began measuring the corruption perception index worldwide. The ranking covers the period up to an including December 2017, and the question is who’s to blame for this poor situation, whether VMRO-DPMNE or SDSM. In other words, does the reason lie in the fact that when VMRO-DPMNE was in power, the EU used the term “state capture” to describe Macedonia or in the 7-month rule of SDSM in 2017 during which the Government received support from all European allies, who started visiting this country, unlike the period when VMRO-DPMNE was in power and when European representatives were circumventing Macedonia. Anyhow, apart from all of this, the statement that Macedonia is the most corrupt European country is false. According to this ranking, Moldavia, Russia and Ukraine, all three European countries, have worse positions than Macedonia in terms of corruption level.
Given the arguments above, the statement made by VMRO-DPMNE’s leader, Hristijan Mickoski, is deemed untrue.
- [Source: http://netpress.com.mk/edinstveno-resenie-za-makedonija-e-zaminuvanje-na-ovaa-vlast/ – Интегрален текст…, date: 19 March 2018]
- [Source: http://emagazin.mk/vesti/vest/44285]
- [Source: https://www.finance.gov.mk/mk/node/6980]
- [Source: https://www.transparency.org/country/MKD]
- [Source: https://www.transparency.org/research/cpi]
- [Source: https://tradingeconomics.com/macedonia/corruption-rank]
Assessed by: Iskra Opetcheska