Thursday, October 26, 2006

Transportation Ministry voiced warning to urban mafia

Macedonian Ministry of Transportation and Communication has send a public warning to the so-called urban mafia, saying the Ministry won't tolerate its illegal operations anymore.

The warning followed the attempt to avoid pulling down of an illegally constructed object at the bank of the Vardar River in Skopje. Investors, Skopje's Centre Municipality and lawyers are involved in the case, which resulted in threats to personal safety of the Transportation Minister.

"The Ministry of Transportation and Communication would like to send a public message to all supporters of the urban mafia that the Ministry won't cave in to provocations like the alleged wrongdoings of the Ministry, and it will remain steadfast in its commitment to put order in the sphere of urban planning and construction", the announcement says.

The so-called urban mafia refers to illegal construction business, which spins tens of millions euros on annual basis. It reached alarming proportions especially in Skopje, and is considered as one of the key generators of corruption in the country.

The Ministry also denied today the allegations voiced by Aleksandar Tortevski, the lawyer of the investors of the building in question, that "Ministry has been sending emissaries" to settle the matter off the record.

Minister Mile Janakievski called the lawyer to report the case to the Police "immediately and not later than tonight", and to offer evidence of his allegations.

At the same time, the Ministry urged once again the Mayor of Center Municipality to execute the decision for pulling down of the object, reiterating its call to all Mayors across the country.

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