Thursday, April 30, 2009

Two arrested in ProCredit bank robbery

Macedonian police have arrested two persons in connection to the robbery of ProCredit Bank-Skopje, which took place on 10 April.

The police believe that one of the detained bought the two vehicles used in the robbery, while the "biological traces" of other one, a man with double citizenship - Kosovo and Croatia's - matched those found on the vehicle. In addition, an operation for tracking down of the third person believed to have been involved, is underway.

The arrested B.T. (29) from Skopje bought the vehicles Golf 3 and Alpha Romeo 155 used in the robbery, from the used car lot "Guri" in the beginning of 2009.

In his testimony before the police, he said that his cousin A.T. (31) from Skopje, who is still on the run, ordered him to buy the vehicles. B.T. also said that his cousin kept constant contact with a man from Kosovo.

The armed group managed to steal 50,000 euros from the bank located in downtown Skopje in a daring operation. In the shootout with the police, two officers and a bypasser were wounded.

Alexander The Great Bisexual

Macedonia’s bisexuals are delighted that their hero, Alexander the Great, will soon break the macho monotony of their country’s capital.

A prank press release in support of the Macedonian government initiative to erect a giant statue of Alexander the Great, “the greatest bi-sexual in the history of the world”, as stated, appeared recently on Facebook.

This joke aimed to rile the patriotic feelings of Macedonia’s hard-line nationalists who see this ancient warrior king as the symbol of their national pride, and was signed by a fictional citizens’ association, named “Alexander Bi-Macedonian”.

“We, the bisexuals have always been rejected by society in all possible ways, including symbolically.
Skopje and Macedonia are full of macho heroes. Even women are excluded from the Macedonian symbolic universe,” the association states.

The conservative VMRO DPMNE-led government’s bid to plant a statue of Alexander in Skopje’s main square is a “significant step towards emancipation, offering us a person that will unify us on much higher level”, the release continues.

“We have always seen Alexander as an iconic figure for our bisexual lifestyle. We look on him as a man who beside conquering and unifying the world unified people of different sexual orientations as well,” the release further writes.

Beside affirming sexual diversity, the monument will make the country a top tourist destination as “every bisexual from Europe will be delighted to take his picture in front of the statue”, it continues.

I still remember how scandalized people were in both Macedonia and Greece after watching the Oliver Stone blockbuster “Alexander”, which portrayed the young hero as in love with his mate Hephaestion.

Partly out of curiosity and partly out of some hidden suicidal drive I deliberately started conversations on this issue with people from both countries who I thought were notably patriotic. I somehow survived to tell the tale!

First they would start blushing, while trying to stay calm and explain to me that I had been surely misled.
They would nervously clasp their hands together in a prayer-like position.

But soon they snapped, losing their tempers and attacking the “commies, masons and who knows who else” for plotting a conspiracy against their national hero.

The reactions were identical. The only thing these people could not agree upon was who was stealing whose history – Macedonians or Greeks?

Ok, heroes are heroes and their rightful place is on city squares, to remind the people of their glorious achievement or ideas.

I can even to some extent understand why people tend to worship stereotyped “horse-mounted” egoists and slaughterers like Alexander or Napoleon – more than some really deserving scholars, for example.

But that is not the point here.

As far as I know, there is no hard proof that Alexander was truly a bisexual although various circumstantial evidence does point to that theory.

But that is also not the point.

The point is that, unfortunately, the fight against numbing stupidity in the Balkans is still waged only through the irony and wit of a few.

And they have to remain anonymous, of course, just in case them find themselves in the way of some “patriot”.

National Bank of Macedonia prepares new measures to protect denar

National Bank of Macedonia has announced possible new tightening of monetary policy, Macedonian A1 television channel informs.
Everything depends on the foreign currency reserves, whose balance runs to EUR 1,2 billion now.
If planned measures prove to be insufficient, the bank will take additional ones, said bank governor Petar Gosev.
In the last four months National Bank of Macedonia has spent some EUR 300 million of the foreign currency reserves to secure the protection of the exchange rate of denar, the channel says.

Macedonian pork is safe, say producers

Domestic pork is healthy and safe, whereas consumers can use it freely, stated Wednesday Macedonian producers and processors.

They complained of suffering enormous losses due to the citizens' misinformation, thinking that the swine flu is transferred through food.

"The disease that recently appeared in Mexico is not transferred through consumption of pork and its processing, but from one human to another. This is a mutation of the swine, human and bird flu, but of humane, not animal type. Therefore, we ask that term 'swine' is replaced with 'North American'", stated members of the Group for Production of Pork and Processing.

According to them, since the news on the global spreading of the swine flu, pork sales in Macedonia have reduced by 50 percent.

Veterinary Administration director Dejan Runtevski stressed that the ban for import of live pigs, which entered into force on Tuesday, would be applied as long as necessary.

Scheffer - Macedonia fulfills criteria for membership in NATO

Macedonia has fulfilled all criteria for membership in the Alliance and what remains now is to resolve the dispute with Greece over the name of Macedonia, NATO chief said today.

At the meeting with the outgoing Macedonian president Branko Crvenkovski, NATO Secretary General Jaap De Hoop Scheffer said that he expected for negotiations aimed at finding a mutually acceptable solutions to intensify once the elections in both countries are over.

The interlocutors agreed that the in the following period, the efforts should focus on creating an atmosphere of good-neighborly relations between the two countries.

Macedonia seeks for economic cooperation with United Arab Emirates

The Minister of Foreign Trade of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikha Lubna Al Qasimi, will pay a working visit to Macedonia on Thursday.

Her visit to Macedonia comes as part of the European tour, and is aimed at improving the bilateral cooperation, above all in the economic field and other areas of joint interest.

According to the agenda, the UAE minister will meet with Foreign Minister Antonio Milososki, Economy Minister Fatmir Besimi and Environment Minister Nexhati Jakupi.