North Macedonia - Articoli

The crushed salt of Macedonia

11/10/2012 -  Francesco Martino Kratovo

The crushed salt of Kratovo comes directly from the sun and the wind that kiss the Osogovski mountains, in Macedonia. A journey into the secrets of a family that wants to open the country's first “slow hostel”, distant a three-day horse ride from the Aegean sea


Macedonia: The Communist Reality

05/09/2012 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

In Macedonia, the process of dealing with the communist past of the country is becoming more and more to resemble a reality show. Lists of former secret service agents are published on the internet, civil servants are removed from office, new categories of citizens end under screening. But some warn that privacy and civil rights are at stake


Macedonia: last chance for Crvenkovski?

07/08/2012 -  Risto Karajkov

He's the only Macedonian politician who has been riding the crest of the wave since the '90s. Branko Crvenkovski seems to have reached his final challenge: the next local elections. He would do anything to win them, even shaking hands with former arch-enemies


Macedonia: Is It Terrorism?

11/06/2012 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

On 12 April, the murder of five people by lake Smiljkovo, at the outskirts of Skopje, struck Macedonia's ethnic cohesion. Five people are now in jail, accused of being part of an Islamic terrorist organization. Many questions, however, remain unanswered


Small is Beautiful: Challenges facing Balkan NGOs

30/05/2012 -  Risto Karajkov

EU aid to Balkan civil society seems to be increasingly directed at large NGOs. Small community-based organisations tend to be marginalised mainly as a result of turnover thresholds and excessive red tape set by the donors. An opinion by Risto Karajkov, OBC's correspondent and free-lance civil society consultant


Okruženje, Yugosphere and its neighbourhood

10/04/2012 -  Luka Zanoni

There are not many parts of the world where a TV talk show can be produced without requiring dubbing or subtitles in order to be broadcast in 5 different countries. But in the Balkans this is possible. Vicinities is a first when it comes to talk shows with a regional approach. "But don't talk to me about Yugosphere" says Nenad Šebek, the show's host


Census fails in Macedonia

20/10/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

In Macedonia, the census planned for October has officially been cancelled. The fiasco came as a result of increasing tensions between the two major partners in the government, the VMRO led by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski and the DUI of Ali Ahmeti. Assessing the number of citizens (and the weight of the different ethnic communities) in Macedonia is a sensitive and highly politicized issue


Agricultural policies in South East Europe: which ones?

09/08/2011 -  Matteo Vittuari

A step by step analysis of the agricultural development policies in South East Europe: from the process of collectivisation in the 40s, to the much reduced production capacity during the conflicts of the 90s, up to the agricultural models linked to the European Union


Macedonia turns 20

20/09/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

The Republic of Macedonia has recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. So far, the country has succeeded as a multicultural democracy. However, many challenges are yet to come and the name dispute with Greece is still keeping Skopje distant from the EU


Slow food. On grass and transhumance in Western Macedonia

16/09/2011 -  Francesco Martino Mavrovo

Mavrovo, Western Macedonia. On these mountains, the Balkans’ continental and Mediterranean climates meet, giving birth to incredibly rich and unique pastures. This is why, throughout the centuries, this region has specialised in transhumance sheep breeding and cheese production. A slow food presidium that will make its first international appearance today at the Cheese fair in Bra, Cuneo, Italy.


Skopje, the bastard city

09/09/2011 -  Marjola Rukaj

Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, is a divided city but it retains a 'bastard' soul. Katharina Urbanek and Milan Mijalkovic have dedicated a book to it, looking into the meaning of the deep transformations - spatial and symbolic - that the city is currently undergoing with the controversial "Skopje 2014" plan. Our interview


Enlargement of the EU to the Western Balkans: negotiations on agriculture

04/10/2011 -  Matteo Vittuari

After 2013 the European Common Agricultural Policy, known as CAP, will bring about numerous changes that the majority of the Western Balkans will have to adapt to. An incentive for modernising the agricultural sector and drawing attention to rural issues. Much apprehension about the future remains


Time for a European Macedonia

02/08/2011 -  Francesco Martino Sofia

The dispute with Greece on the constitutional name of the country has been keeping Macedonia outside the gates of the EU for too long. This situation is bound to create lasting negative effects not only for Skopje, but also for its European neighbors


Media in Macedonia: in crisis

28/07/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

A serious crisis hitting the Skopje media. Many are closing down. The opposition media are penalised and they label the Law adopted by the Parliament as partisan. What is most worrying is the absence of a critical and objective voice.


Agriculture and rural areas in the Western Balkans: status update

14/07/2011 -  Matteo Vittuari

It’s a crutial sector of the Western Balkans economy. Just as much as it’s important it’s also been neglected during the transitional years. A broad review of the agriculture and rural areas on this side of Southeastern Europe


Macedonia: Here Comes Alexander

30/06/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

On 21 June, a controversial, colossal monument to Alexander the Great was erected in Skopje’s central square. Strongly supported by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski, the bronze giant stirred heated international debate (Greece, of course, officially protested) but also split the Macedonian public opinion. A commentary


Macedonia discovering a green economy

07/04/2011 -  Matteo Vittuari

Not much, but something is moving. In Macedonia organic agriculture is gaining ground. The legislative framework matches European standards and funds are growing. Yet, a lot remains to be done. The sixth part of our investigation into organic agriculture in South East Europe


Mind the Gap: Micro Enterprises and ICT in Macedonia

16/06/2011 -  Risto Karajkov

ICT is fundamental for enterprise productivity. In Macedonia, statistics on its use are weak. For an effective government strategy a much more accurate data collection system is needed


The secret languages of the Bazaars

07/06/2011 -  Marjola Rukaj Tirana

They were multilingual places where secret languages were spoken. What has remained in the Balkan Bazaars of these codes, invented in order to understand each other and yet not be understood by outsiders? Our analysis


Behind the wall

06/04/2011 -  Francesco Martino

In the Balkans the era of bloody conflicts is over. But instead of proceeding along the difficult path of dialogue, many are scrambling to raise walls to keep the "other" at a safe distance. And even the European Union doesn't seem immune from such temptations. A comment


Macedonia, clashes over religious symbols, again

24/02/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

In Skopje the construction of a church has increased hostility between the ethnic groups living in the Macedonian capital. Behind the clashes and protests hide the different political agendas of VMRO and DUI, the two ruling parties. An example of how the political leadership's behavior can contribute to the escalation of inter-ethnic tensions


Bitola, the cosmopolitan čaršija

10/02/2011 -  Marjola Rukaj

A perfect example of how to reconcile past and present. The Bitola čaršija has been neither abandoned nor a victim of unregulated building, nor even transformed into a shop window for tourists. Nevertheless it risks turning into a mundane modern market. A contribution to our dossier on Ottoman Bazaars in the Balkans


Macedonia, No Parliament

07/02/2011 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

On 28 January, the major opposition party in Macedonia, the social democrats (SDSM), decided to stop participating in parliament, after the bank accounts of the major opposition TV channel A1, owned by the media mogul Velija Ramkovski, were frozen. The country has now a serious parliamentary crisis


Macedonia: violence at home

28/01/2011 -  Dejan Georgievski* Skopje

Domestic violence is a widespread phenomenon in Macedonia. According to NGOs working on this issue its causes are mainly a consequence of a society that is still very patriarchal. Our review


Skopje, the čaršija of the Albanians

12/01/2011 -  Marjola Rukaj Skopje

A real social and cultural barometer in the heart of Skopje, the capital of Macedonia, this is an ancient Ottoman market which, in the last 20 years, has changed from being a disreputable quarter to a trendy one. Another article in our dossier on Ottoman markets in the Balkans


Macedonia, lustration strikes high

17/11/2010 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Macedonia's law on the lustration of public figures compromised by the communist regime has come late. As elsewhere in Eastern Europe it has been used for high-level acts of political revenge. Now it's the Albanian 'hero', and leader of the DUI, Ali Ahmenti's turn


Macedonian pottery surviving for centuries

22/10/2010 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Some driven by the need to survive in the face of transition, others realising that consumer taste may change. Many economic activities in Macedonia and in the rest of the Balkans linked to the tradition of pottery


Unesco's heritage: where in the Western Balkans?

01/10/2010 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

There are 911 Unesco heritage sites in the world. 18 of these in the Western Balkans. From the open plains on the island of Hvar to the Mostar Bridge, archaelogical sites in Albania and the Durmitor glaciers in Montenegro: a review


Macedonia: Spiritual tourism

24/09/2010 -  Risto Karajkov Skopje

Often only the most determined tourists get there, those who do not give up when they meet the first obstacles. But when (and if) they get there, they find oases of peace and serenity. Macedonia's monasteries, a unique resource for tourism


Between Albania and Macedonia: Patriarchal loves

29/09/2010 -  Marjola Rukaj Tirana

On the bus from Tirana to Skopje there are many young women with children. They have just visited their relatives, in Northern Albania, and are now going back to their houses in Macedonia. In this report, a story of migration and arranged marriages