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Ministry of Labor and Social Policy: Positive Assessment by World Bank for Social Reforms

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World Bank gave a positive grade for the system reforms of the social and child protection, proposed by the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy, expecting to permanently lower poverty in Macedonia, and provide equal conditions for the development of every child.

Within the frameworks of the report, the ministry advises and gives support for the transformation of the program for a financial compensation for having a third child, explaining that the current program is the least efficient but takes up a large segment of the budget allocated for social aid.

In addition, WB supports the extension of budget for the poor, using a new pattern for better targeting. This would create a network for social protection of the poor, regardless of their status and/or age.

“The Government is aware of the inconsistencies in the system for social aid and is dedicated to carry out the reforms. The main goal of the reforms in the social protection is to increase the effectiveness and efficiency of system itself, through reforms for the targets as well as the social compensation,” World Bank said in its latest report, analyzing the current system for social and child protection and the proposed reforms of the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy.

Regarding the current system, the report states that the programs aimed at reducing the poverty are the lowest in the region.

In addition, the financial transfers allocated based on the Laws on social protection and child protection, are some 1.2 percent of the GDP, which is among the lowest in the region, and below the average level in the countries of Europe and Central Asia.

Furthermore, WB explained that although the funds for social aid as of 2008 have been increasing, the majority of the financial aid increase is due to the categorized rather than well-targeted rights.

The social protection programs cover only one-third of the poorest quintile, and this result is even more concerning, taking into consideration that the longest quintile covers the poorest population.

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Macedonia

Arrest warrant issued for Spasov

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Former special police officer Igor Spasov, who has been sentenced to 14 years in prison for murdering Martin Neskoski, is wanted on recall to prison after going missing.

Macedonian police issued an arrest warrant on Tuesday after he failed to show up to begin his sentence. The arrest warrant has been published on the web-site of the Ministry of Interior.

The former member of special police force vanished after ignoring summons to serve time after he was sentenced in prison on murder charges.

The man had probably fled justice to avoid serving a 14-year jail sentence for a murder conviction. He was to report to Idrizovo correctional facility on 18 October.

The murder took place during a late-night celebration of VMRO-DPMNE’s victory in 2011 parliamentary elections.

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Macedonia

Matthew Palmer due in Skopje today

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The US Secretary of State’s Special Representative for the Western Balkans, Matthew Palmer, will visit North Macedonia on Tuesday.

Special Representative Palmer is scheduled to meet with Foreign Minister Nikola Dimitrov, Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in a press release.

The two are expected to discuss the bilateral relations between North Macedonia and the United States, including the US support for the country’s integration into the Euro-Atlantic community. They will exchange views on the situation in the country and the region.

In late August, the U.S. State Department appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Palmer as special envoy for the Western Balkans with a mandate to help integrate the region into Western institutions.

US Secretary of State has appointed Deputy Assistant Secretary Matthew Palmer  as his Special Representative for the Western Balkans.  In this role, Palmer will lead our efforts to strengthen U.S. diplomatic engagement in support of peace, stability, and prosperity in the region and focus on integration of the Western Balkan countries into Western institutions.

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Macedonia

Zaev: We can give argument to reassure Macron

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We can give arguments to reassure President Macron that “methodology prior to enlargement” proposal could be converted into “enlargement along with change in methodology”, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev wrote on his Facebook page, alluding to France’s Emmanuel Macron’s initiative for new enlargement methodology.

“We are not only a strategic interest, we are Europe. It means we will become a member of the European Union once we wrap up the comprehensive reform at home. The pre-accession process and closure of chapters will help us make it happen. The accession negotiations will help us wrap up domestic reform,” Zaev wrote on his Facebook page.

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