Wiretapping scandal set 23: The Baroque “deal”
This set of wiretapped conversations was presented one week prior the referendum of the Municipality of Centar for preserving the authentic appearance of GTC and it contains several recordings played in the previous press conferences.
In the first conversation, Gordana Jankuloska, Minister at that time, tells Martin Protugjer that members of VMRO-DPMNE were demolishing headquarters that belong to Ljube Boshkoski’s party “United for Macedonia”, and she had to publicly justify herself that they were unable to reach the perpetrators, however she requests from Protugjer to “tech the perpetrators a lesson”.
The next four conversations are dedicated to the infamous project “Skopje 2014”. From the conversations led between Nikola Gruevski and Mile Janakieski we find out how the building plots on the main square were sold, how the appearance of the planned object is changed, how Gruevski was arranging the appearance of the Officers’ House with the Greek businessman Kontominas. We also hear referring to his “friends” as Ali Baba. Also, we can hear how Gruevski “is fighting” for the greenery.
Later on, they both talk about the “deal” regarding the controversial Spanish Steps on the Macedonia Square, and about the sums in play for both variants. Gruevski is a bit afraid because that might cause a negative trend, because the interested investor “you know what country is from”… He also says that the situation would have been different if the investor had to build next to the Vardar River or below the Kale Fortress… At the end, we find out about Gruevki’s views regarding the art – the interested investor in an artist, meaning, “He must be into the baroque”. Then we find out about the game with Alek “Teranova”, who did not want to rush “so it won’t look like I am interested in everything, that we are taking over the entire square”. Afterwards, we hear about the French man Germond who wanted to purchase the entire GTC and he was given a tour through GTC as well…
In the following conversation Janakieski informs his interlocutor about the move of Andrej Zhernovski, the mayor of the Municipality of Centar, who didn’t accept the new DUPs (Detailed Urban Development Plans) that Gruevski favored. Next, we hear about the crisis plan prepared by Janakieski and Gruevski after Zhernovski’s move.
At the end, we hear Gruevski ordering citizens to enter the Hall of the Municipality of Centar and in a dispute with Zhernovski “one citizen to slap him trice, strongly, and to leave”… Janakieski says that he is already preparing “protests” and Gruevski instructs the preparation of Marin and Sule “so we can kick from tomorrow on”. Gruevski again “orders” the slaps while saying there is no reason to worry – because there won’t be a severe physical injury and there won’t be grounds for criminal charge, just misdemeanor charges… Also, he orders the councilors from VMRO-DPMNE and the coalition to organize press conferences in which they will accuse and yell…
Press conference of Sasha Bogdanovikj, president of the Basic Organization of SDSM in Centar, in Skopje, 19th of April 2015
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.