Wiretapping scandal set 10: Prime minister’s building plots

“Stitched and glued” building plots for Gruevski’s appetites


The conversation set played in this press conference reveals why the Detailed Urban Development Plans (DUPs) in the Centar Municipality were changed so ardently, what was hidden in them apart from “Panorama”, who instructed such activities and for whose interests.

In the first conversation between Gruevski and Janakieski, the then PM is interested in the pace of changing the DUPs and the GUP (Master Urban Development Plan) of the City of Skopje, how Janakieski is planning to “push” what he has been instructed to, and then we hear how Urko is telling Mijalkov that they have been driving around in vans with “the man” and were sightseeing buildings with other officials…

In the next conversation between Gruevski and Janakieski, we can hear them talking about the “promenades” and how to implement “the agreed in the van”, while making sure that nothing will reach “the newspapers”. They also talk about the course of changes for the DUP regarding a location Gruevski has in mind, i.e. he wants to transform a building plot on Mount Vodno from 2.700 m2 and to extended it to 11.000 m2,  appropriating the area for which the previous DUP projected greenery, but it should be divided into 20 smaller building plots so the whole process won’t be too obvious. He also request that the new DUP project the maximum building height allowed by law for the aforementioned building plot.

They constantly talk in codes. Then, Gruevski says that he plans, with time, to occupy the entire space, but to avoid causing furor. He also reveals that other people should be introduced as formal owners. Later on, we hear Gruevski asking whether the license to build on these building plots is covers the legal maximum, i.e. 70% of the surface. Afterwards we understand that the building plots Gruevski intends to appropriate have owners, so he and Janakieski discuss what is the best way to achieve the aim – take up the surrounding plots and forming one great building plot.

In the following conversation we hear Gruevski’s instructions to “set up the planned road to others” and how to build a 6-7 meters high wall “so I won’t look the others” and they “will look at the wall”…


All of the “bombs” are here


Press conference of Zoran Zaev, president of SDSM, Skopje, 15th of March 2015

(Below you will find the transcripts in English of the records played in this press conference)



Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Nikola Gruevski

MJ: Hello? Hello?
NG: Hello?
MJ: Yes?
NG: Mile?
MJ: Hello?
NG: Did you go to bed?
MJ: No, no. I’m reading newspapers.
NG: So, what’s new?
MJ: Nothing. I checked this thing today.
NG: Yeah.
MJ: Changes are needed to the GUP, then to the DUP. That could take long.
NG: Right. But the GUP can’t be changed at in this phase, right?
MJ: Well, Koce changes the GUP, so it will be finished by end of October.
NG: OK. If that’s my only solution, I’ll combine something, you understand?
MJ: About that… it would be good if you tell me how much, and … I’ll tell these people – the more powerful ones – that somebody has asked me [to do this], without going into details.
NG: What’s the price? I was told 400.
MJ: Right.
NG: 400 EUR per square meter, including utilities and project design.
MJ: I think the price is objective, for that area. In parallel, I’ll push forward the other thing.
NG: You keep going. You push this and the other thing, if something turns out, that would be great.
MJ: Yes, of course. Both things.
NG: Now, I’m thinking of possible combinations not to miss that chance. I’ll probably think of something; they’ll give me a deadline for the second thing. Longer deadline to… I shouldn’t speak directly…
MJ: Yes, yes. OK.
NG: …to be realized.
MJ: I understand, yes.
NG: They’ll give me more time and I’ll somehow manage to have the matter done.


Conversation between Dejan M. Urko and Saso Mijalkov

SM: What else is new?
DMU: Nothing new. We’re here, from early this morning, in the rain, we are roaming Skopje in vans, with “the man”, and ten more people, you know, public officials.
SM: Where are you roaming?
DMU: Through suburbs.
SM: What for?
DMU: They’re “sight-seeing”.
SM: Sigh-seeing? What?
DMU: Well, they are touring … [to see] buildings and stuff, land plots, things like that.
SM: Aha. Mmm. Good. OK. Bye.
SM: Bye.


Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Nikola Gruevski

NG: Mile, three things.
MJ: Speak.
NG: First thing I wanted… I called you from the meeting this morning, at around half past six, around seven… I was in meeting with Koce and Slave.
MJ: All right.
NG: We have the minutes…
MJ: All right.
NG: From the rounds we did in Centar, in Aerodrom.
MJ: Right, right…
NG: They’re finished, Gordana Ivanovik drafted them. I also have the previous [minutes].
MJ: Previous?
NG: And the previous [minutes].
MJ: That’s what I wanted to ask You.
NG: Now we working on the methodology, what should we design and develop, and finally we thought that you might…
MJ: Make an action plan.
NG: ….establish some sort of a body…
MJ: Right.
NG: Commission, committee – call it what you like, but you should be the chair and hold regular meetings every two weeks, let’s say on that day and hour, every second week.
MJ: But no, it could be [done] under the item on construction works expansion. It could be discussed every week and on the first meeting we would develop the action plan and later pursue activities according to that plan.
NG: But then everybody would know. You have all sorts of busy bodies attending meetings on construction works expansion. How should I know? You think?
MJ: No, as an after-meeting. I’ll tell those [outsiders], I’ll thank them, because most of them do attend meetings, but will continue with the construction matter only with the others. At least until we get this thing on track. Later, if needed, we’ll reduce the number [of meetings].
NG: Good.
MJ: We’ll have a lot of work in the beginning.
NG: Right, you decide as you think, but be careful for this thing not to leak in the media, although, there weren’t any spectacular matters to be dragged in newspapers. Anyhow, you take over [the case], and push it forward every second week.
MJ: All right.
NG: You are responsible for implementing what was agreed in the van.
MJ: All right.
NG: And above that old [building], see what has not been completed, and finish it.
MJ: Consider it done… all right.
NG: …whatever’s not completed, finish it. Now, about the second thing…
MJ: Should I report to You regularly or from time to time?
NG: Yes, report once a month.
MJ: All right.
NG: I’m counting on you to make serious progress in three-four months.
MJ: Right. OK.
NG: Although, the elections are coming, but that should not prevent us, you push things forward and we’ll see what would come out of it. The second thing… The GUP was passed; you know what I’m asking you about, about…
MJ: Yes, yes, I know.
NG: Now we need the DUP. Aleksandar has developed the DUP.
MJ: I know.
NG: But there were some comments, by him or somebody else, I don’t know. But, until maps are finished, he cannot send it [for adoption]. I talked to Koce. Koce says that’s not right, He can send it. Gordana attended the meeting, Koce was there as well. They said it can be sent immediately, even though the maps are not finished. Because, you now, the development of maps could take until New Year. That’s why I wanted to ask you to take over this matter and push it forward. Alek is in contact with Aleksandar, you should know, about that thing.
MJ: Right.
NG: It’s Alek, but he doesn’t have a clue…
MJ: Yes, of course. I understand.
NG: You can have this thing finished with Alek, he calls you for things.
MJ: Let me check… let me check first, because I think he needs the maps to overlay the DUP on the GUP, but I have to check. I’ll do that first thing in the morning and will let You know. Only… he needs time, one month time, it’s a big area. OK, I’ll tell You tomorrow about when, how, what – everything.
NG: OK. That was my second thing. If we can have this thing pushed through before the…
MJ: Yes, of course.
NG:…before they announce [the elections], you know.
MJ: Right.
NG: Although, I’ve heard that even when they announce [the elections], they would hold sessions of the Council for some time. Don’t know until when.
MJ: But, maybe today… I don’t know. We need to see how the Parliament will adopt the laws. Because what you have tasked me with, we already drafted the action plan, now you can click on the construction plot and see [what’s planned], and we’ll add features for checking whether a construction permit has been issued for the land plot or not, is there a plan adopted, when it was adopted. All parameters will be on one place.
NG: I should tell you that I haven’t seen the DUP, because there was no time, I just told them that they should divide the plot into more parts. How many parts have been designed, I don’t know. I would have made 20 individual parts, because the area is big.
MJ: In reality, you can have 3 [plots], 1000 [square meters] for one plot is OK. I’ll check and will let You know, but I should come back first. I wanted to come back tomorrow…
NG: No, no, no. Wait, it’s not about that thing. That’s OK, you are right about that. I’m talking about this other thing now. Didn’t I tell you that in the meantime…
MJ: It’s OK for the other thing then.
NG: Didn’t I tell you that in the meantime I have moved some things around for the other thing to happen.
MJ: I know. I know. That is OK.
NG: Now, that is equally urgent as this thing. It’s even more urgent for me, you understand?
MJ: Right.
NG: That’s much bigger [plot]. I bought it very cheap. I told you already.
MJ: I know, Aleksandar told me that he knows. OK.
NG: Does Aleksandar know for whom it is, what it is?
MJ: Alek.
NG: Yes, of course. Good then. OK. The new [plot] is quite bigger than the old.
MJ: I think we should… let me confirm this to You tomorrow. He needs [the maps] to overlay the DUP, because of plot borders, that’s why.
NG: The old, the old was around 2.7, right?
MJ: А…ааа. I don’t know exactly.
NG: 2,700, something like that.
MJ: I think it was 3.5, but I’m not sure. It was 3 for certain.
NG: I think it was 2700. I don’t think. I’m certain. The new one is 11000.
MJ: Don’t you think it’s too much to have it divided into 20?
NG: It’s not too much, 500 [square meters] each. 500 and something.
MJ: Right, because…
NG: How many plots of 500? Many, right?
MJ: Yes, yes. All right.
NG: What do I lose if I divide it into 20? Nothing, right?
MJ: Yes, of course.
NG: I have my reasons. I’ll tell you when we see each other. I was thinking…
MJ: No, no, it’s OK. If that’s the concept, OK. But we need to see…
NG: I have my reasons.
MJ: Right.
NG: But don’t want to talk on the phone about them.
MJ: No. I’ll tell You tomorrow
NG: The concept is very logical. That’s why.
MJ: I wanted to come to the Government meeting tomorrow, but I don’t know how it will turn out with the airplanes…
NG: Now, I don’t know whether he has divided it into 10, into 50 or into 20, to tell you the truth. I arranged that through one person, that person went through Alek, Alek went there. I was on the road all the time and don’t know what the DUP looks like…
MJ: If I manage to come to the Government’s meeting tomorrow, I’ll call him, I’ll meet with him and tell You everything. We’ll draw it as needed, and we’ll make it happen.
NG: Height. What’s the maximum height there, I don’t know.
MJ: 10.5, 10.2.
NG: 10.2. You can’t go higher?
MJ: No. Not for individual [building].
NG: OK. Let it be 10.2. Actually, wait. I don’t want to make a mistake as you say. But you won’t know until you see it. What can you do…
MJ: We’ll see it tomorrow, I’ll take it.
NG: You ask him how many small plots it’s divided into. Do you know what the idea was? That [plot] is now owned by you-know-who, right?
MJ: Yes, of course.
NG: When the time is right, that you-know-who can buy only one plot. I don’t know how else to explain.
MJ: But it would be good to have a pre-contract. It’s good if you know the person, because his appetites might increase.
NG: They won’t. I think, you can formally buy the land, otherwise, if one buys 11, clamours will start, you understand?
NG: You can’t [buy] 11, for example, you will buy only one, formally. Otherwise, it is done deal, all 11 have been bought.
MJ: Aha, all right.
NG: But formally, for the [public]… only one is bought, for example.
MJ: Tomorrow, I’ll take that…
NG: And for the other [plots], we’ll say that the other [plots] are owned by that person, we don’t know who…
MJ: Yes, of course.
NG: That’s only one. We took one now.
MJ: Yes, yes. Tomorrow…
NG: I don’t know if I can depict it for you in codes, but…
MJ: No, it’s OK. I understand. Anyhow, tomorrow…
NG: Because the time will come when we’ll make it official, right?
MJ: Yes, right.
NG: Somebody should appear somewhere and say: it’s me, I want to do this. And if he moves to do that on 11 [plots], immediately there will be an uproar.
MJ: Yes, it would be conspicuous.
NG: How, what, why, where from, how much, calculations, this and that. And in this way, you formally take one of 11, for example, or maybe two. You understand me?
MJ: Right.
NG: And you say, I have taken one, it’s only one. Others will remain as are.
NG: And later, as…
NG: …as years pass, you can do that with the others…
MJ: Let’s see each other tomorrow. Tomorrow is Thursday, if I make it in time…
NG: You are here or abroad?
MJ: If we make it for tomorrow. I plan to arrive around 10 o’clock, I wanted to make it for the Government’s meeting, but don’t know the situation with the airplanes. If I make it tomorrow, then we’ll meet tomorrow, if not…
NG: Wait. Did you do the thing in Sweden?
MJ: No, no, no. Tomorrow morning I should have been there at around 10, but don’t know if we’ll make it. Most probably we won’t go to Sweden at all, we’re returning back.
NG: Aha.
MJ: That’s why I’m saying, we don’t know how things stand with the airplanes. I’ll tell You.
NG: Even if you’re not returning, you call him on the phone, ask him into how many parts it has been divided and how big each part is. Most importantly, ask him if he can have this matter finished now, in January?
MJ: All right. I’ll tell you that tomorrow. I wanted to take…
NG: Before, before the election of the new composition, you understand? Because it would be uncertain with the new composition, we don’t know what might happen.
MJ: Right.
NG: That’s that. And about the smaller one, I don’t need to have it divided, right? We pursued that matter so as to allow for another option, right?
MJ: That’s what I’m saying about the other option, to have it divided into three, and have another designation, as we spoke before, to have such possibility.
NG: If it remains as one plot, it would be one, but big, right?
MJ: Yes. It’s too big if it stays like this.
NG: I don’t know, leave it big. How should I know? If it’s big, you can make it into smaller parts, if it’s divided into smaller parts, you won’t be able to make it big.
MJ: Depends. In my opinion, there would be greater interest for 3х1000, roughly, and you can have three people…
NG: But for this, for individual [residence].
MJ: No, I was thinking about a building.
NG: I don’t know now. I don’t understand. I thought the bigger, the better. From these people who are buying such…
MJ: All [plots] we are selling are around 1000, 1100, 900. 500 [square meters of that] are under construction, 4-5 floors, it’s easier that way.
NG: I don’t think he has started developing the DUP for that. As for this thing, I have not arranged things as I should have.
MJ: But I was doing that.
NG: You were arranging it?
MJ: Yes.
NG: Good then, you do that, and we’ll see what comes out of it. I don’t know. I really don’t know that the most common are those of 1000 and the like. I don’t know that. And what’s the height for plots of 1000?
MJ: Ground floor plus 5, ground floor plus 4.
NG: Aha. Good. Then you can make 3 pieces [buildings] on that place?
MJ: Yes.
NG: Good. I really don’t know. I don’t have a clue if it is Ok or it is not OK.
MJ: I can make another general research …
NG: You start as if it is yours, what would be the best for you to do, that’s how you do it.
MJ: Well, I think this is the best.
NG: See, if you were in the same situation, what would you do?
MJ: I think, this is the best way, that’s why I’m advising You to do that.
NG: OK. OK. If that’s the best – that’s how we will do it. But see about the other, to make it happen in January and into how many parts it is divided. Actually, the number of parts it is divided into is less important to me than to make it happen in January. Even if it’s divided into 10, it’s OK.
MJ: Right. OK.
NG: If it’s divided into 5, again it’s OK. For me, it’s important to get things moving.
MJ: Right, I understand.


Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Nikola Gruevski

MJ: Yes please?
NG: Mile?
MJ: Yes.
NG: About the thing we just spoke, about the 8 [plots] that we were talking about.
MJ: Right.
NG: Check whether the plots have been maximally used in terms of the construction area.
MJ: 70 %, that’s how it has to be.
NG: Yes 70, but is it done?
MJ: Nothing’s final for now, but that’s how it must be according to plan. That’s what we put in the law.
NG: Do you need another plan for that?
MJ: This is just a sketch. The project is developed on that basis. What I have given you, the action plan.
NG: Aha, good. But you are sure that it will be 70% for certain, that was my point.
MJ: Yes, it must be according to the law.
NG: Good.
MJ: I told You earlier, if You remember.
NG: Good. OK. Bye now.


Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Nikola Gruevski

MJ: Hello.
NG: Where are you Mile?
MJ: At a promotion in [Municipality of] Kisela Voda, promotion of the candidate for Mayor.
NG: You are in Kisela Voda then. Can you speak briefly?
MJ: Speak, speak.
NG: This thing “above” no…. the other thing, you know?
MJ: Right.
NG: We need finalization [of plot]. You told me 2000 square meters is considered finalization of plot, right?
MJ: Yes, but changes have been made there. I told You. People with tenure rights appeared.
NG: How many? Too many?
MJ: I should have [information] about that today. I will explain. Today, I should have the final [situation] and was thinking to present it to You, but Aleksandar…
NG: Users appeared for the entire [plot]?
MJ: Yes, the entire [plot]. But there are only three: two are deceased, and the one… Actually, two do not exist in the records, one is deceased, and there are chances to take away his tenure rights. It will go in two stages.
NG: Good, how much time we need to have that finished?
MJ: We need to change the plan. My idea is to have complete ownership for the construction development venture, and make the finalization [of plot] in the second stage.
NG: How much time is that? Six months? How long?
MJ: Well yes, that would be sufficient.
NG: Five or six, how many months?
MJ: Maybe six. But start of construction works is possible. If we want to build, we can start.
NG: How much does the plot finalization cost? You once gave me a price for that?
MJ: 14,400.
NG: What….? Denars?
MJ: Yes.
NG: Good. Thank you. Bye now.
MJ: I’ll give it to You tomorrow. I wanted today, but Aleksandar had 40 degrees fever, I’ll give it tomorrow.
NG: Agreed. Ciao.
MJ: Ciao.


Conversation between Mile Janakieski and Nikola Gruevski

MJ: Hello?
NG: How are you Mile?
MJ: Good. I’m about to hold a press conference.
NG: Hold what?
MJ: Press, press conference.
NG: Aaa, press. What’s the topic?
MJ: About the construction land, about enabling people this, with the external contracts, that’s a good thing, we should promote it.
NG: That’s great. Great. You know, I thought of something. Yesterday, the piece of paper you showed me.
MJ: Right.
NG: You said that half of the road is here and the other half there, right?
MJ: Roughly, that’s right.
NG: Why don’t we push it more there, on their territory, I mean on the outskirts of their plot, but show it as whole on mine [my plot].
MJ: Look, the maximum has been done, because [the road] follows a curve. Then, there will be additional things, from that aspect. Why put the road exactly on the curve from the topography, because there is a slope in that section. We made sure that the maximum is done, so that you can have the road constructed.
NG: Good, good. I didn’t know that. I thought that the area is flat, and asked why only half?
MJ: No, no. At first it was, if you remember…
NG: If they were in our place, would they have put it on half?
MJ:..slightly upwards, but we lowered it as much as possible, because the drop would be very steep.
NG: Mhm. Good. OK then.
MJ: I’ll check again if it can be put lower, but maximum…
NG: You know what can be done there? You can build a retaining wall, fill it with earth, and people will look at the wall. That’s what I thought of.
MJ: Right. I’ll check again.
NG: You build a 6-7 meter high retaining wall and people from below look right into the wall.
MJ: Right.
NG: But you’re levelling the ground, right?
MJ: Yes, yes, yes.
NG: You put up the wall, and level the ground.
MJ: Actually, the road will be there and there will be an embankment. There must be an embankment.
NG: Yes. Right.


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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.

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