Neither Drama, Nor Agony – “Informer” Has Only Now Seen the Fines for Not Wearing Masks
The Serbian portal “Informer” published an article with a tendentious headline: “NEW DRAMA WITH OUR CITIZENS ON THEIR WAY HOME FROM HOLIDAYS IN GREECE! Here is what the Macedonians came up with!” (NOVA DRAMA NAŠIH PUTNIKA PRI VRAĆANJU SA LETOVANJA U GRČKOJ! Evo čega su se dosetili Makedonci! – 21.07.2020)
The “drama” that is announced in the headline, is in fact overemphasized and even old news, because it refers to the fines of 20 euros that have been imposed for three months now in the Republic of North Macedonia for not wearing a protective mask.
The article in a sensationalist manner conveys the story that a Serbian citizen, a certain Vladimir Simic, through social networks, told the story of how he was fined for not wearing a mask in his vehicle while passing through our country. This unpleasant incident has been described as “agony”, more precisely as a continuation of the agony that Serbian tourists are allegedly experiencing as a result of the complicated procedures for entering and staying in Greece due to the coronavirus. The text also has a note “warning for all”, written in red.
Although it is probably a real event, the article shows visible tendency, which can be noticed even with the choice of headline. The impression is that one desired to create drama where it does not exist.
The fines for not wearing a mask in North Macedonia are not fresh news. They were introduced at the end of April, came into force on 1 May and have been imposed for both Macedonians and foreign citizens ever since.
Today (23 April 2020) in the “Official Gazette of the Republic of North Macedonia” was published the Decree with legal force for personal protection to prevent the spread, suppression of the infectious disease caused by the coronavirus COVID-19 and protection of the population during the state of emergency, adopted by the Government at its 45th session.
The Decree stipulates that in case of violation of the provisions of this decree with legal force, from the day of entry into force of this Decree with legal force until 30 April 2020, the competent authorities will issue only warnings.
After 30 April, the Decree determines that a fine in the amount of 20 euros in denar counter-value will be imposed for a misdemeanor on any domestic or foreign person if it acts contrary to the provisions of this Decree with legal force, announced the Government of N. Macedonia on 23 April.
So, this is not a new fine introduced now at the height of the tourist season, i.e. as the text sarcastically states: “Here is what the Macedonians came up with!”. These fines have been imposed for several months now and intensified in the last period as the number of people infected with the coronavirus has increased. The media reported this, and here are just a few examples:
- Most fines for not wearing protective masks in a vehicle – (10 June 2020)
- Over 1000 fines for not wearing a mask (11 June 2020)
- More than 2000 people fined for not wearing masks in July – (06 July 2020)
As it can be seen, there neither “drama”, nor “agony” – described in dictionaries as “a state of unconsciousness, just before death”, but the observance of measures in a COVID-19 pandemic.