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Ethnic divide in parliament over army law; Controversial army law undermines ethnic stability
Yesterday’s session of the parliamentary commission on labor saw big divide between ethnic Macedonian and Albanian legislators, no matter their political affiliation. In a encumbering political atmosphere Macedonians defended the need for a new law that would introduce benefits for members of the Macedonian armed forces who fought in the 2001 armed conflict, and their families. Ethnic Albanians wanted the bill dropped altogether unless it provides same benefits to former Albanian guerrilla fighters and their families. While experts say that the politicians are playing with fire, the situation is expected to become clearer after the return of PM Nikola Gruevski from his visit to the United States.
After yesterday’s parliament session, there is no room for doubt that the controversial law on armed forces, put forward by the main ruling VMRO DPMNE party, in the current political contest would strike a devastating blow to the inter-ethnic foundations of the country, the daily says. The start of the debate saw a sharp divide between Macedonian legislators and their ethnic Albanian colleagues who opposed the law, demanding the same rights for the former Albanian guerilla fighters.
Balkan Insight has not verified the reports and cannot vouch for their accuracy.
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