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Macedonian government's fall could end economic reform

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Subject

Macedonia's fractious politics.

Significance

The leader of the opposition Social Democratic Party of Macedonia (SDSM), Zoran Zaev, has alleged that the leader of the ruling Internal Macedonian Revolutionary Organisation-Democratic Party for Macedonian National Unity (VMRO-DPMNE), Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, has used the domestic intelligence service to spy on Macedonia's political and economic elites for nearly a decade. For his part, Gruevski has alleged that Zaev has been trying to blackmail him to bring SDSM into government by threatening to release to the media thousands of taped recordings and transcripts of private telephone conversations. There is a risk of wider political instability, as revelations also emerge about the conduct of government officials.

Impacts

  • New revelations could have a serious impact on the popular perception of government, fuelling opposition.
  • Zaev's opportunistic handling of the issue will damage SDSM and provoke a broader backlash against the political class.
  • Growing evidence of authoritarian behaviour will damage relations with Western partners.
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