Macedonia gets new finance minister following Stavreski resignation

By bne IntelliNews June 15, 2016

The Macedonian parliament accepted the nomination of Kiril Minoski as finance minister on June 15, the day after his predecessor Zoran Stavreski resigned citing health reasons.

The new minister faces a huge challenge to secure enough money for the state budget. Stavreski’s resignation came at the time when Macedonia is hit by a severe political crisis and one day after ex-prime minister and leader of the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party, Nikola Gruevski, said that Macedonia will probably need to issue a new Eurobond to cover the budget gap, a move criticized by the opposition Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM).

The appointment of Minoski was passed by 67 votes to 19 in the assembly, according to a live MTV broadcast.

Earlier, the parliament confirmed Stavreski’s resignation. “The health problems I am facing indicate that there is a necessity for longer treatment and recovery so I won’t be able to perform the positions of finance minister and deputy prime minister,” the government said on June 14, quoting Stavreski’s resignation letter.

Minoski came to the ministerial post from his previous position of director of the Public Revenue Office, where he has served since the end of last year. From May 2014 to November 2015, Minoski was head of the State Market Inspectorate. Previously he was engaged as manager in several USAID-financed projects in the country.

Minoski, who has 17 years of experience, has been involved in the implementation of various projects in the fields of finance, banking, improving the competitiveness of SMEs, labour market reforms and other projects which were directly or indirectly connected with the finance ministry.

His predecessor Stavreski had served in the government led VMRO-DPMNE since 2006, starting as deputy prime minister for economic affairs. In 2009 he was appointed finance minister and deputy prime minister.

Stavreski’s critics say he had great knowledge of fiscal policy, but at the same time he was responsible for increasing the country’s public debt to satisfy the extravagant wishes of the governing party.

Macedonia's government budget deficit narrowed by 10.6% y/y to MKD5.63bn (€91.5mn) in the first three months of 2016. Public debt totalled €4.33bn at end-March, up by 2.5% from the end of 2015.

During the parliament debate Marjanco Nikolov, a MP from the SDSM, urged the new minister to work transparently with public money and “to spend less on chocolate and more on bread,” state-run news agency MIA reported on June 15.

He was alluding to a statement attributed to Stavreski, made during one of a series of recorded conversations, in which he criticised the government’s heavy budget spending on non-essential projects, ordered by Gruevski. Stavreski allegedly said, “We are lunatics, what we are doing is not normal, we are spending on chocolate while we don’t have bread.

“We are constantly adding new expenditures that there is no normal state that could withstand this, not even America,” the voice supposedly of Stavreski said.

Stavreski’s resignation at a critical point for Macedonia has raised questions. However, another wiretapped conversation between Stavreski and former Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska showed that Stavreski really was in poor health due to exhaustion as a result of his hard work on government projects.

The wiretapped conversations, which were revealed by SDSM leader Zoran Zaev last year, showed corruption at the highest level.

The wiretapping scandal triggered the current political crisis in Macedonia, one of the most serious since the country’s independence in 1991.

Zaev stated at the time that VMRO-DPMNE had ordered the illegal wiretapping of some 20,000 people, including politicians, foreign diplomats and journalists. He claimed he obtained the recordings from a whistleblower, but Gruevski said that Zaev got the recorded materials from foreign secret services.

Related Articles

Non-performing loans in Central and Southeast Europe fell 6.5% y/y in 2015

Levels of non-performing loans (NPLs) in Central and Southeast Europe (CE/SEE) continued to decline in 2015 but still remain worryingly high, ... more

Macedonia officially sets December 11 as election date

Macedonian parliament speaker Trajko Veljanovski has officially called an early election for December 11. The vote is seen as a way for the country to overcome the long-running political crisis ... more

Macedonia's SDSM to form broad opposition front for Dec 11 election

Macedonia’s main opposition party the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM) plans to join forces with other left-wing and centrist parties to form a wide front in the upcoming snap general ... more

Register here to continue reading this article and 2 more for free or 12 months full access inc. Magazine and Weekly Newspaper for just $119/year.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. A confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

Thank you for purchasing a bne IntelliNews subscription. We look forward to serving you as one of our paid subscribers. An email confirmation will be sent to the email address you have provided.

To continue viewing our content you need to complete the registration process.

Please look for an email that was sent to with the subject line "Confirmation bne IntelliNews access". This email will have instructions on how to complete registration process. Please check in your "Junk" folder in case this communication was misdirected in your email system.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and magazine

Subscribe to bne IntelliNews website and monthly magazine, the leading source of business, economic and financial news and commentary in emerging markets.

Your subscription includes:
  • Full access to the bne content daily news and features on the website
  • Newsletters direct to your mailbox
  • Print and digital subscription to the monthly bne magazine
  • Digital subscription to the weekly bne newspaper

IntelliNews Pro subscribers click here

bne IntelliNews
$119 per year

All prices are in US dollars net of applicable taxes.

If you have any questions please contact us at

Register for free to read bne IntelliNews Magazine. You'll receive a free digital subscription.

If you have already registered, enter the information below with the same email you used previously and you will be granted immediate access.

Thank you. Please complete your registration by confirming your email address. The confirmation email has been sent to the email address you provided.

IntelliNews Pro offers daily news updates delivered to your inbox and in-depth data reports.
Get the emerging markets newswire that financial professionals trust.

"No day starts for my team without IntelliNews Pro" — UBS

Thank-you for requesting an IntelliNews Pro trial. Our team will be in contact with you shortly.