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Macedonia News

Macedonian president revokes pardons for politicians

Skopje - Macedonia's president on Friday revoked the pardons he had granted to 22 politicians implicated in a wiretapping scandal, after the move sparked outrage inside and outside the troubled Balkan country.

Smuggling rife as refugees cross closed Balkan route

Llojan - Mohamad Jomaa breathlessly recounts his covert journey from Greece to Macedonia: a 10-day trek through the mountains, getting robbed by local "mafia" and handing over costly bribes to police.

Macedonia postpones June polls under EU pressure

Skopje - Crisis-hit Macedonia on Wednesday postponed elections due next month, after the European Union called on Skopje to delay the polls to ensure they could take place freely and fairly.

Macedonia's paint-filled protests struggle to spur change

Skopje - They start with a Facebook post announcing the target of the day, and end at dusk with a flurry of attacks on a Macedonian government building -- using balloons and water pistols filled with bright paint.

Refugees forced to walk 4km on foot to Serbia from Tabanovce Special

The ambulance rushed the five-month-old baby to the nearest hospital in Skopje. It takes about one hour by car from Tabanovce, a refugee transit center located at the Macedonian-Serbian border to Skopje, the capital of Macedonia.

Macedonia's ex-PM readying for poll despite boycotts

Skopje - Macedonia's former and possible next prime minister Nikola Gruevski says his party is preparing to stand in an early election next month despite a boycott by his opponents and international disapproval.

Macedonian vote set to be postponed: Opposition leader

Skopje - The opposition leader in crisis-hit Macedonia said Friday he was confident that a general election scheduled for early June would not go ahead, and the Balkan country’s dissolved parliament was likely to reconvene soon.

Council of Europe concerned over Macedonia treatment of migrants

Strasbourg - The Council of Europe on Wednesday offered its help in training Macedonian border police, after allegations that officers are maltreating migrants as they try to enter the country on their way north.

Dozens of migrants break through Macedonian border: AFP

Gevgelija - Several dozen migrants managed to illegally cross from Greece into Macedonia on Saturday -- a border that has been shut since February, an AFP photographer reported.

EU cancels Macedonia crisis talks as protests resume

Skopje - The European Union on Thursday cancelled mediation talks on resolving the political crisis in Macedonia, as tens of thousands of pro- and anti-government demonstrators again took to the streets of Skopje.

Macedonia opposition sets conditions for joining EU talks

Skopje - Macedonia's opposition said Wednesday it would only join EU talks on resolving the country's political crisis if the government revoked an amnesty for politicians embroiled in a wire-tapping scandal and postpone June 5 elections.

Fresh rallies in Macedonia over wire-tapping amnesty

Skopje - Several thousand people marched through the Macedonian capital on Tuesday for the eighth day running, protesting at President Gjorge Ivanov's decision to halt a probe into top politicians embroiled in a wire-tapping scandal.

Thousands in fresh protest against Macedonian president

Skopje - Thousands of Macedonian opposition supporters took to the streets for the fifth day on Saturday calling for President Gjorge Ivanov to resign and for legislative elections scheduled for June to be postponed.

Protests after Macedonia snap elections set for June

Skopje - Protesters took to the streets of Skopje for the fourth night in a row Friday, after Macedonia confirmed snap June 5 elections as the country grapples with a bitter political crisis.

Migrant row fuels Greece-Macedonia discord

Atenas - Scenes of desperate migrants being teargassed at the Greece-Macedonia border are straining an already testy relationship between the two neighbours, as Skopje also grapples with a political crisis that has seen protesters ransack the president's office...

Fresh protests rock Macedonia as outrage grows over wiretap pardons

Skopje - Thousands took to the streets of the Macedonian capital for a third consecutive evening Thursday to protest against the president's shock decision to halt probes into more than 50 public figures embroiled in a wire-tapping scandal.

War games in Greece near Macedonia, Turkey amid migration row

Atenas - The Greek army on Thursday staged a double military exercise on its border with Macedonia and an island cluster near Turkey, officials said, amid tension with Skopje over the refugee crisis.

Protesters ransack Macedonia president's office as crisis deepens

Skopje - Protesters ransacked the offices of Macedonia's presidency late Wednesday and set fire to the furniture, as thousands took to the capital's streets in a deepening political crisis.

Macedonia police tear gas migrants on Greek border: AFP

Gevgelija - Macedonia police on Wednesday fired tear gas and stun grenades at migrants staging a protest at the country's border fence with Greece, an AFP reporter said.

Macedonia crisis deepens as president blocks wiretap probe

Skopje - Macedonia was mired in fresh turmoil Wednesday after the president blocked judicial proceedings against top politicians embroiled in a wire-tapping scandal, sending protesters back onto the streets in a crisis that threatens the country's EU aspiration...

On patrol with Macedonian troops at Europe's closed gate

Gevgelija - Macedonian soldiers trudge through torrential rain in a borderland once home to quiet vineyards, searching for migrants trying to sneak through a hole in the locked-down gate to western Europe.

Macedonia sends over 1,000 migrants back to Greece

Gevgelija - Some 1,500 migrants who managed to cross into Macedonia, despite the border being closed to them for a week, have been sent back to Greece by Macedonian troops, officials said Tuesday.

About 1,000 migrants on Greek border seek new route into Macedonia

Rent - Some 1,000 migrants stranded at a camp on the Greek border set off on foot towards Macedonia on Monday in search of an alternative route into the country, an AFP reporter saw, adding that the group was quickly surrounded by Greek police.

Greece vows to resolve migrant build-up on border 'within week'

Gevgelija - Greece said Saturday it aimed to "resolve" the migrant build-up on the Macedonian border within a week, as Chinese artist Ai Weiwei hauled a white grand piano to the muddy frontier to highlight their plight.

Macedonia 'paying for EU mistakes' in refugee crisis: President

Berlin - Macedonian President Gjorge Ivanov on Friday angrily charged that his country had been forced to "pay for the mistakes" of the EU during the record migrant influx.

Macedonia shelters refugees after days stuck in wet field: UNHCR

Skopje - The last Syrian refugees to enter Macedonia before the Balkan route shut down are being transferred to emergency shelters after three days stuck in muddy no-man's land, the UN refugee agency said Thursday.

Macedonia eyes joining NATO in wake of migrant crisis

Ljubljana - Macedonia Defence Minister Zoran Jolevski on Thursday said he hoped his country's "responsible" attitude to the migrant crisis would help accelerate its entry into NATO, something Greece has blocked until now.

Macedonia says no migrant entries since Monday

Skopje - Not a single migrant has entered Macedonia for the past two days, police said Wednesday, but denied that the country had closed its border with Greece entirely.

Refugees waiting for 'miracle' as Balkan borders slam shut

Gevgelija - For the past three days, 15-year-old Ola has clung onto a scrap of cardboard bearing the number 22, hoping her turn will finally come to cross the sealed metal fence on the Greek-Macedonian border.

Refugees still vow to reach north Europe via Macedonia

Gevgelija - Newly arrived refugees in Greece continue to head to Macedonia despite being confronted by a closed border and rain-lashed camps amid fears they will be returned to Turkey.
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Refugees leaving Tabanovce camp  crossing from Macedonia to Serbia.
Refugees leaving Tabanovce camp, crossing from Macedonia to Serbia.
Refugees leaving Tabanovce camp  crossing from Macedonia to Serbia.
Refugees leaving Tabanovce camp, crossing from Macedonia to Serbia.