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Hundreds take to streets of the capital to demand a more open society.
Several hundred people attended Tuesday's march for tolerance in the Macedonian capital, Skopje, protesting against all forms of discrimination in the country.
Beginning just before midday at the city museum, the marchers proceeded through the main thoroughfare, Macedonia Street.
Koco Andonovski, from the Macedonian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights, one of the organizers of the march, urged the political parties to stop their "vicious" bickering, which he said was spreading a climate of intolerance among ordinary people.
"We are here to raise our voice against all types of intolerance and discrimination, based on racial, ethnic, gender, sexual or other differences," Gordana Nestorovska, head of the Helsinki Committee, said.
Support for the march came from Macedonia's Ombudsman. In his public address, Ixhet Memeti said that the principles of tolerance and equality were especially needed in a country as multi-cultural and multi-ethnic as Macedonia.
Foreign diplomats on the march included the EU ambassador, Erwan Fouere.
In April, Macedonia passed its first anti-discrimination law, which will come into force from next year. But the act has drawn criticism from Brussels for failing to extend its provisions to include people of a different sexual orientation.
The low level of political dialogue between parties in Macedonia remains a matter of concern in Brussels. The European Commission singled out the problem again in its latest report on the country, published this month.
Amnesty International today wrote to the Macedonian authorities expressing concern that the Anti-Discrimination Law adopted by the country's parliament last Thursday failed to include provisions for the protection from discrimination of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.
Optimism about reform under the new government fades as the new team delays enacting the promised media strategy and takes effective control of the media through the familiar tactics of targeted advertising and hidden ownership.