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Fuele’s visit did not amend government crisis; Journalists win bitter victory over defamation
Macedonian ruling coalition remains unstable after the visit of the European Enlargement Commissioner Stefan Fuele. Commenting on this issue, Fuele said that the friction between the main ruling VMRO DPMNE and the Albanian Democratic Union for Integration, DUI, have negative effect on the EU reforms. He said that the parties should put aside ethnic grievances and focus primarily on the country’s path towards European integration. Parties agree with Fuele’s remarks but on the ground the crisis continues. The trouble started when the DUI strongly opposed the bill filed by their senior partners, VMRO DPMNE that should provide rights of members of the Macedonian armed forces who fought in the 2001 armed conflict. They want the bill dropped altogether if same rights are not provided for the former Albanian guerilla fighters.
The law that will allow removal of defamation from the penal code might prove as a bitter victory for the journalists, the daily says. The law, put forward for adoption in parliament this week keeps steep penalties for journalists, editors and media owners. Penalties amounting to 27.000 euros and the courts right to temporarily stop the publishing of a text or a broadcast represent a direct breach in to the media freedom, many journalists say. On the other hand, country’s Journalists’ Association that held talks with the government over this issue has praised the government move.
Balkan Insight has not verified the reports and cannot vouch for their accuracy.
In two high-profile war crimes trials currently ongoing in Pristina, a series of witnesses have retracted previous statements alleging abuse at Kosovo Liberation Army detention centres.