Wiretapping scandal set 4: Commies, journalists and documentaries about the Macedonian struggle for freedom
In the first conversation from the 4th set of the wiretapping scandal Protugjer and Jankuloska discuss how they should organize journalists close to the government to brief them about the “Telekom” case, whereupon they define the journalists who will attend the briefing. They end the conversation joking about “Caci”.
The next conversation is between Latas and the Minister of Culture, Kancheska – Milevska, and the Minister expresses her discontent because Sitel TV station did not broadcast the materials she solicited, whereupon Latas replies that VMRO-DPMNE and the Prime Minister solicit too many materials for broadcasting, and then he says that 7 out of 12 news reports have been ordered by VMRO-DPMNE. Due to that fact, TV’s editor-in-chief says, Sitel’s news is like a condom for VMRO-DPMNE’s propaganda”. However, Latas accepts the new order for the next news edition.
Next, we hear a conversation between Jankuloska and her deputy Ivo Kotevski in which they talk about Lile from MTV (Macedonian Television), who wanted to host a show, so he had bothered Bachanov. Jankuloska says that if Lile continues, she could easily be sacked from MTV.
The following conversation is between the buddies Latas and Mijalkov, whereupon they argue about the best period of the day for airing Sitel’s news, whereupon Administration for Security and Counterintelligence’s (ASCI) director says that Goran, Sitel’s owner, “shovels in” 2 million euro annual support, and Latas replies that regardless Goran’s profit, “he fairly earns it” unlike Kanal 5. Then Sitel’s editor-in-chief claims that Kanal 5 are nowhere to be seen “in every moment of crisis… they are nice, polite”. Mijalkov is uptight at this point and says that he does “the donkey work” for them and deals with Velija, and “now somebody’s broadcasting infotainment at 9 PM and is increasing the ratings in the middle of the campaign”.
In the next conversation, we hear Jankuloska and Mijalkov and Mijalkov asks whether Srgjan has called her, on which she responds that they had made a deal, however “there” has been a commie who hustles the job, and afterwards Mijalkov says she does not have a reason to worry about the three newspapers from that group, because everything will be arranged. Jankuloska reminds him that they have to “tell” the group, whereupon Mijalkov emphasizes that Jankuloska will get contacts for direct communication and says that she does not have to worry, because although “they haven’t taken over the power, they will do it soon and everything will be arranged”.
The last conversation is between Gruevski and Janakieski. The Prime Minister tells the Minister that AEK (Agency for Electronic Communications) is supposed to transfer money for documentaries that the ruling party owes, whereupon the issue should be solved “next thing tomorrow”, and then he describes the transfer title – “for social accountability”. Gruevski orders to choose the “most popular” documentary, i.e. one that suits the most, and then he determines the particular documentary, the one about the Macedonian struggle for freedom and independence, i.e. the money should be transferred for that documentary, but in fact all of the money for the documentaries should be transferred under that guise. Janakieski then tells the sum – 500.000 euro.
All of the “bombs” are here.
Press conference of Zoran Zaev, president of SDSM, in Skopje, 25th of February 2015
(Below you will find the transcripts in English of the records played in this press conference)
Conversation between Gordana Jankulovska (GJ) and Martin Protoger (MP)
GJ: Martin, what should we do about this thing with Telecom?
GJ: Late last night, the Chief wrote to me and said to gather several journalists today and instruct them in detail, which is not a problem, but you should assess and advise how to proceed, whether one media outlet today and let the others take the story from them …. I think that other outlets will not follow, especially those who have not covered the story before, because, you know, if Vecer publishes, Dnevnik will not cover the story from Vecer.
MP: Yes, of course. What about going with Dnevnik, Kanal 5, Sitel and MTV?
GJ: Fine with me.
MP: No, no, not now, sometime later.
GJ: All right. That’s why I wanted to consult you. It’s not a problem, I mean, I can…
MP: Whom should I send to Ivo, names?
GJ: Whoever you want, whoever seems to be the most, for example.
MP: From Sitel I’ll send Randu, and from Kanal 5 Gorgji Tomik will come.
GJ: Although, I think he would prefer if you send Caci.
MP: Yes, yes, yes.
GJ: He’ll explain everything to her.
MP: Yes, Caci is…
GJ: Plus, the girl understands MOI affairs, I watch her. She understands and delivers.
Conversation between Dragan Pavlovik –Latas (DPL) and Elizabeta Kanceska-Milevska (EKM)
DPL: Say Betty dear.
EKM: What are you doing?
DPL: I’m at work.
DPL: At work.
EKM: You know, one thing, when I ask for one thing, nothing happens. Didn’t I ask yesterday?
DPL: What’s with you Betty? It was broadcast …
DPL: On the website also.
EKM: At 11 pm, at 11pm when nobody watches, everybody sleeps.
DPL: Look, let me say this. I mean, don’t overdo it, because there are so many pre-ordered stories from your Prime Minister, that it makes the news programme on Sitel look like a condom, it’s all propaganda of VMRO-DPMNE.
EKM: When will you anchor the news? Today?
DPL: Listen, yesterday 7 stories from a total of…12, were pre-ordered: [make sure you have] this poll covered, what the poll is all about, invite experts to analyse, and everything else, and now …
EKM: Dragan, will you anchor the news today?
DPL: No. Tino will anchor, but that’s not a problem. Tell me, I’ll do what needs to be done.
EKM: The story that will be aired on MTV, broadcast it. There’s an on-site survey of Estonians about the concert, what they say about Macedonia, very nice article.
DPL: Hold on. Will MTV give us the video material?
Conversation between Ivo Kotevski (IK) and Gordana Jankulovska (GJ)
GJ: Hey, speak Ivo.
IK: It’s not urgent, but I’m driving and can’t text you, so I called. You see, I don’t know whether the position has changed, but MTV are now showing an ambition to produce a programme about this.
GJ: They will not.
GJ: They will not!
IK: Look, this Lile, she doesn’t answer my calls, but can be nosy sometimes, at the last moment she called Bacanov to say…
GJ: I’m telling you, they will not produce it. Now, if Lile continues in this manner, she will be given the boot from MTV.
IK: So, I should tell Bacanov that they will not do anything.
GJ: Not to pursue anything, yes. What’s the topic?
IK: Don’t know, allegedly she was told so, something about mass murders worldwide, chit chat, so as to keep the topic current, to say that such things happen in other places.
Conversation between Dragan Pavlovik-Latas (DPL) and Saso Mijalkov (SM)
SM: Why is the news not aired at 9 pm? People watch the news…..
DPL: They’re not watched at 9 pm, viewing is much higher at 10, 10.30 pm.
DM: Who told you they are not viewed? I, for example, used to always watch the news at 9 pm.
DPL: That’s not right Sase, matters like this are researched. You know, researched …
SM: Instead of at 12.30 am, 1 am, especially when the time is not set in adavnce, when there is no predefined timing, sometimes you watch them, sometimes you don’t.
DPL: I said what I have to. As for what you say, I agree. The highest viewing time for the news is between 10 pm and 10.30 pm, that’s when they should start.
SM: So he should schedule them at 10 pm. 10.15 pm is also OK.
DPL: I agree, I agree.
SM: But viewers should know that the news on Sitel is broadcasted at 10.15 pm, don’t leave uncertainty, the audience doesn’t know when they are on, at 1 am, at 11 pm, or at 12.30 am.
DPL: Look, I’m also not happy with coming to work at 11.40 pm and idling until 12.30 am…
SM: And what’s our benefit? Goran is just sucking and sucking money. Excuse me, but with the 2 million Euro support he gets annually, I can establish my own television.
DPL: At least he delivers. Kanal 5 doesn’t deliver. They have not delivered at any critical moment. They are nice, they are well behaved, they are…. only when they quarrelled with Velija, on personal level, only then did they cover for 3-4 days, when Velija called them out publicly, when he referred to BS and defamed then. That was worthy for them. Otherwise, they are not attending events, they don’t produce debate programmes…
SM: Now he thinks about boosting the rating while I do the dirty laundry for you, I fixed Velija, my way, to now have somebody airing entertainment programmes at 9 pm to boost their ratings in the midst of the campaign.
DPL: Look Saso, if you don’t have the viewers…
SM: What does all this look like, tell me? I will tell Goran in person, and I’m telling you now. I will not be played…
Conversation between Gordana Jankulovska (GJ) and Saso Mijalkov (SM)
SM: Gorde, what’s up?
GJ: As usual, at work, how are you?
SM: Just wanted to ask if Srgjan called you?
GJ: Yes, yes, we talked and I gave him information.
SM: So he’s reacting quickly, that’s good.
GJ: Yes, yes.
SM: The Prime Minister forwarded me your message and based on the message I updated…
GJ: Yes, yes, yes. He called and I told him, and also we had previously agreed with them.. They have some commie there among them that pushes these topics.
SM: Look, don’t worry about that. I mean, everything that’s within their group, those three newspapers, you just enjoy, leave it to me. Just few more days and that will be taken care of and will be…
GJ: Of course. Look, we should tell them.
SM: Yes, and we’ll maintain communication with them.
GJ: Naturally. You know, because their sights are not yet set on what’s important to us.
SM: You will be enabled direct communication, you understand. We’ll soon know the name of the contact person, so you can…
GJ: Yes, yes. Because nobody else was writing, but they wrote about the lawsuits against MOI. That’s water under the bridge.
SM: Look, we still don’t have full power there, so to speak.
GJ: I understand.
SM: We’ll take full control in a few days, that will be sorted out, don’t worry about that.
GJ: Great, great.
SM: Otherwise, let’s see what to do with the other cattle there, don’t worry about these. I have things under control and you shouldn’t be worried at all.
Conversation between Mile Janakieski (MJ) and Nikola Gruevski (NG)
MJ: Yes, please?
NG: Can AEC give money; we owe money for the documentaries.
MJ: Depends on the amount Mr. President, we are very short of money, with what has has already been sucked out.
NG: 30 million denars.
MJ: For this year?
NG: For this year, yes. It can be at the beginning of next year, it doesn’t matter. I mean, between now and January we should settle the payment for the documentaries, that’s the outstanding debt that’s due.
MJ: Let’s do it like this. Give me time to sit down with Bobi, because they are doing the budget. Or let’s say by Friday, because he told me he would have the next year’s budget ready by Friday.
NG: No, do this tomorrow. He should know by now how and what, and then tell me.
NG: He can transfer the funds under social responsibility, for example, under the name of a documentary that would have a popular title, something which suits, like “About the Macedonian Struggle for Freedom and Independence”. That title will be used for all documentary films, but he should indicate the name specifically.
MJ: 500 thousand….
NG: It should not be about Skopje now or something else, you know. About the Macedonian Struggle, do that.
MK: Understood. I’ll check and will let you know.
MG: About Freedom and Independence.
NG: See to it and report back.
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.