Macedonian businessman plans comeback after accusing ex-PM of destroying flagship development

Macedonian businessman plans comeback after accusing ex-PM of destroying flagship development
By bne IntelliNews October 3, 2017

Macedonia’s FON University, owned by businessman Fijat Canoski, has signed a memorandum of cooperation with investors China’s Yida Construction and local firm FINE to build a university campus and hospital in Skopje.

The complex will be built at the site where Canoski’s Kosmos residential complex was located. Kosmos was demolished in 2011 when it was at the final stage of construction, in what Canoski claims was an act of political revenge by the previous VMRO-DPMNE government. 

The demolition was ordered after Canoski's party left the ruling coalition led by former prime minister Nikola Gruevski. Macedonia’s special prosecutors say Gruevski ordered the demolition of the building, acting in cooperation with the municipal authorities, thereby inflicting a loss of around €60mn on Canoski's family. The former prime minister is one of the suspects in the ongoing Kosmos case in Macedonia. 

The Canoski family has already won another case against the building’s demolition in the European Court for Human Rights in Strasbourg and is expected to be reimbursed. Now, Canoski is planning a new development on the site. 

“The main goal of the memorandum is the financial and technical support for the completion of the FON University City, at the site of former Kosmos, as well as expanding of operations in the field of medical sciences with the construction of a new university hospital,” FON said in a statement on October 2.

Yida Construction will provide international support and knowledge of at least two foreign experts for the University Medical Center.

The project is expected to attract over 10,000 students from over 40 countries. The value of the investment was not disclosed.

FON also announced that it will extend its activity to the Asian continent by rebranding two universities in India under the FON University brand.

On September 26, Yida Construction officials met Macedonian Prime Minister Zoran Zaev, with whom they discussed plans and proposals for future infrastructure and socio-economic projects in the country. 

The Chinese company also plans investments in renewable energy in Macedonia, according to the government statement.

Yida Construction is collaborating in the implementation of China's One Belt One Road initiatives.

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