EU enlargement commissioner Fule cancels visit to Macedonia.

By bne IntelliNews February 18, 2013
On Feb 15, EU enlargement commissioner Stefan Fule said that due to the political stalemate in Macedonia, he does not consider appropriate paying a previously scheduled visit to the country in the context of the high level accession dialogue, a release on the commissioners website informs. Fule was expected to assess progress in EU-related reforms. The cancelled visit was also intended to be part of the preparation of an upcoming report of the European Commission. The commissioner comments that the current political impasse is putting at risk an existing opportunity for further progress on EU-related reforms and for opening the accession talks. Hence, Fule said that it is now imperative that a solution to the crisis be found. Meanwhile, the deadline for submitting nominations for the local elections expired on Feb 16. Only one politician from the biggest opposition party SDSM submitted his nomination and was expelled from the party on the following day. Besides by SDSM, the local elections will be boycotted by the Liberal Party, the Liberal Democratic Party and the Party for Movement of the Turks, state news agency MIA reported. The elections are scheduled for Mar 24. We remind that the political crisis in the country aggravated sharply on Dec 24, when the opposition was ejected from the parliament after brawling in an attempt to prevent debate of the 2013 budget bill. After the incident, SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski announced that they are leaving the parliament and are starting a campaign of civil disobedience.

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