Police Siege to Prevent Protests Against Budget 2013 Voting in the Parliament in Macedonia?


 

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Published February 18, 2013 2. 43 p.m. CEST

Update  August, 26, 2013 4. 48 p.m. CEST

SKOPJE, Republic of Macedonia: According to the article 6 of the Report of the Commission (Committee of Inquiry) for events that happened inside and outside the building of the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia on December 24 2012, “Escalating events, engagement and intervention of the police, questioned the constitutional provisions for separation of powers and prevented MPs in exercising their function to represent citizens and to decide according to their beliefs.”

The members of the Commission from ruling VMRO-DPMNE and party in opposition SDSM with the president of the Commission law professor Borce Davitkovski agreed on the final report on the events of 24 December, 2012 on day before the dead line of August 27, 2013 defined by EU representative who followed the work on the Commission specially designed to clear up the events during the voting of the State Budget for 2013 and drafted 11 recommendation on better work for the Assembly in the future.

Commission drafted 7 conclusions on the events, mainly focused on what caused the disagreements in the days before and during voting the State Budget and defines necessity of clarifying the rules of work in the Assembly, introducing measures and forms and procedures of filibuster, implementation of ethical codex or dealing with issues of crisis management and how the legislative body should treat media in such situations. The report suggests definition should later be defined with the law of a neutral zone around the Assembly in order to make necessary condition for MP’s future work.

“I look forward to the follow-up and implementation of the recommendations contained in the report, as well as of the rest of the 1 March political agreement”, stated Commissioner for Enlargement and European Neighbourhood Policy Štefan Füle. http://t.co/tAMzjExHP8

The end of December in Macedonia traditionally belongs to budgets, regardless the negotiations include household finance or discussion correlate the procedures of voting the state budget. Budgets are very precise category with numbers and short definitions explaining and giving the idea how the personal or public money will be spent.

In terms of economy glossary, a “budget is a document that announces how much the government will collect in taxes and how revenues will be spent”. And according to the laws in Macedonia, the government prepares the budget that members of the Parliament should vote after the legal procedure for discussions and amendments ends. That is according the books, laws and procedures. The life itself confronted books, laws and procedures in the recent developments of passing the state budget for year 2013 in the Parliament.

Lend me your ear. The acrid way of voting the budget for 2013 will be remembered as a period of harsh disagreements between members of the Parliament the way those on power should spend tax money and financial credits from international institution.

 A document on 65 pages recently was uploaded on the Web Page of the Assembly of Republic of Macedonia, http://www.libertas.mk published on Friday, April 5, 2013.

The document prepared on 65 pages by the Assembly officials follows chronologically the events before, during and after voting the State budget for 2013.

According to the prepared chronological reports of events that contains tables, video and links, there is no written document signed by officials in the Assembly that will explain the acrid events inside the Plenary Hall in the Assembly or who asked for the security assistance during the plenary session that leaded to forceful push out of Opposition MP’s and journalist from the Assembly Gallery in the Plenary Hall on Monday, December, 24, 2012.

The multiple videos of various sources uploaded on social media aggregate the atmosphere atypical and rather strange for a country that is parliamentarian democracy according to its Constitution. Regardless the parliamentarian majority with applause votes the budget for 2013 no excuses and pardons could alleviate the animosity this document creates among general public, opposition and those on power.

The intervention of the security service in the Parliament presumably bewildered not only the opposition and journalists reporting from the Parliament who was forcefully pushed out of the Parliament Plenary Hall, but also those who watched the videos, or at least those who are voters or supporters of opposition Social Democratic Party in Macedonia. Considering the force the security in the Parliament use against all members of opposition who wanted to stop the plenary session, there is no room for a broader agreement that budget for 2013 is in favor of all citizens.

 

Borrowing_aborad_per_capita
Cost of borrowing abroad per capita chart for years 2004-2012.
Chart  based on the data availabe on the Web site http://www.mkbudget.org  Values are in MKD denars.

And there was no need of a convivial expression of self – satisfaction among the majority of Parliamentarians who voted pro budget. The way the development in and outside the Parliament culminated resulted in declared boycott of the Parliament by the opposition. One would underline. No news in the way the Parliament has been functioning since Macedonia independence. Although, one also could agree that the gradual degradation of the procedures in the Parliament resulted in ludicrous atmosphere of taking the rights the opposition to speak with its one voice over the budget issues.

It is not first and probably will not be the last times as one witness the disagreements over the budget and that those on power use no dice strategy in passing the budget. On the global level budgets are matters of agreements, disagreements, negotiations, and pro or against protests. While in the USA the discussion reflects the debate on lower or higher taxes in the countries of European Union the debates and protests are against austerity measures. Although, those are discussions, negotiations and protests that may and sometimes are accompanied with use of force by police cordons. Regardless, force methods to enter the path to vote the laws are probably unknown for modern time democracies.

The animosity in the Parliament of Republic of Macedonia among members of different parliamentarian groups that escalated on Monday, December 24, 2012 is not the first expression of intolerance of different opinions. Apparently, the flagrant ignorance by the government to the voice of opposition to introduce austerity measures with budget 2013 resulted with unclear idea among citizens and general public what kind of budget, majority of parliamentarians voted on Monday.

After an infamous way the majority of MP’s voted the budget for 2013, it is clear there will be a salary for those in public administration, schools, police, army, public health care doctors and employees, there would be a pensions, subventions to those in agriculture. Although, that is very general information without any details how and what for will government will spent the tax money and those borrows from the international monetary institutions. Transparency and introduction of measures of control the budget spending are more than need to ensure the possible covers up of financial shortages in the budget.

 For the beginning:

 1. Could the responsible institution upload the document of voted budget in format that will be transparent and readable for those who want to check the way the government created and majority in the Parliament voted the budget?

2. How much this government is ready to go in support of government-sponsored policy of full employment and is this reasonable step for further development of economy in the country?

3. Do members of opposition think the method to their madness will result in more transparency for how the taxpayers and foreign credits money are spent in Macedonia?

After the unpleasant views and disturbing events in the Parliament, the government needs to spend more time on introspective activities during the Holidays and rethink the way they introduce government activities to the public. It is not everything in adds created to support changes in the society. The opposition MP’s who were forcefully brought out from the Plenary Hall in Monday pay the their taxes from their salaries in the Parliament.

Do they? I can only presume the government have all those information and that at least they can do is to open the space for different voices on matters that are of daily life importance to all citizens. As matter of truth, the budget is of importance to citizens and it is not only government exclusive property.

Majority of MP’s belonging to the ruling government parties approved budget expenditures in 1,6 trillion MKD denars ($3 billion) to support, as stated in the document of the Ministry of finance, domestic economy through raise of investments and social transfers. Majority of the MP’s does not supported suggestions of the MP’s in opposition for more austerity measures and cuts in the state budget of 2013. (Some of the suggestion for budget cuts on the Web page of Social Democratic Union of Macedonia)

Macedonia has no laws on debt ceiling that will define how much the Government can borrow. One of the disagreements between those on power and in opposition is how much the current Government should borrow from international monetary institutions and banks.

 

Извештај 24 декември

One thought on “Police Siege to Prevent Protests Against Budget 2013 Voting in the Parliament in Macedonia?

  1. Pingback: Former President Crvenkovski breaks the silence , Angelov starts with protests at Prosecution | Aleksandra Dukovska

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