“Bulgarian Prime Minister Boyko Borisov is scheduled to attend the ceremonies commemorating the 75th anniversary of the deportation of Jews from Macedonia, which include a ceremony at the Parliament and the preview opening of The Holocaust Memorial Center for the Jews of Macedonia. The presence of the Bulgarian Prime Minister is in marked contrast to recent events in Poland, where the government has made it illegal to discuss the role of Poland and Polish institutions and citizens in collaborating with the Nazis.

The museum, which is scheduled to open to the public in April, is a joint project of the Jewish community and the Macedonian government and designed by renowned museum designers Berenbaum Jacobs Associates.

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) and members of the U.S. diplomatic corps will be in attendance, as well as the U.S. Special Envoy for Holocaust Issues, Thomas Yazdgerdi. Other visitors include representatives from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Israel’s Yad Vashem, and Paris’s Memorial De La Shoah, the deputy Prime Minister and the director of the Elie Wiesel Center of Romania.

The new museum tells the story of the Macedonian Jewry beginning two millennia ago to the growth of the community as a haven from the Spanish Inquisition all the way to post-Holocaust Jewish Macedonia.”

‘As everyone is aware, the Holocaust wiped out enormous swaths of ancient Jewish communities throughout Europe,’ said Dr. Michael Berenbaum, principal of BJA and world-renowned Holocaust scholar. ‘Telling the Macedonian story is a significant opportunity to reinforce to the world how quickly enormous populations can be wiped from the face of the earth, with their contributions gone forever.’” (Berenbaum Jacobs Press Release – full press release available by request)

“The head of the Greek diplomacy, Nikos Kotzias is soon expected to visit Skopje as part of the agenda to solve the issue of the name dispute that exists between the two countries. Media in Skopje report that this is a very important visit and Kotzias is expected to arrive in the country through Skopje’s International Airport, which has a new name now. Media underline that the head of the Greek diplomacy will bring a draft agreement for the solution of the name dispute.

‘I don’t think Kotzias visit will be crucial. We have a psychological war between the two sides as to who will offer more and who will make more concessions. Nonetheless, I think that both sides will do a lot to reach a compromise. But, there will not be many concessions, because governments in Skopje and Athens may fall due to the protests,’ says Sasho Ivanovski, who is optimistic that the process will be finalized successfully.

Flakron Bexheti, spokesperson of the Alliance for Albanians says that Kotzias’ visit is positive.

‘Kotzias’ visit is a positive step in intensifying political dialogue to find a solution on the issue of the name dispute. This visit should be considered as a message of cooperation,’ Bexheti says, adding that this party will help for this process, although it is no longer part of the government.” (Balkan EU)

“The Macedonian Media Institute (MIM), the Media Ethics Council of Macedonia (CEMM), the Independent Trade Union of Journalists and Media Workers (SSNM) and the Institute for Communication Studies (ICS) today categorically denounced the threats directed against the President of the Association of Journalists of Macedonia (AJM) Naser Selmani.

Yesterday, Selmani revealed that he had received death threats from people from DUI and that the MoI professionally acted upon the complaint, while the OSCE Special Representative for Freedom of the Media, Harlem Désir and the entire diplomatic corps in Skopje, are treating this incident very seriously in a European context after the killings of journalists in Malta and Slovakia.

‘For us, It is completely unacceptable to prevent the freedom of expression and the professional work of journalists, which should be free of any pressure and blackmail. Making threats to journalists is at the same time, an attack on democracy and limits the ability of the public to have access to information and ideas of a different kind. We urge the relevant institutions to act promptly and take the necessary measures to solve the case and prevent the recurrence of such incidents. We remind that the state, that, in accordance with Article 10 of the European Convention on Human Rights, it is responsible for undertaking all active measures in order to create and maintain a favorable climate for freedom of expression,’ read the reaction from organizations and institutes.” (Meta)