Macedonia Culture

Macedonia Culture and Mass Media

Newspapers in Northern Macedonia

According to HYPERRESTAURANT.COM, Macedonia is a country located in Europe. The spread of media in Northern Macedonia is relatively modest in comparison to other states in the former Yugoslavia and is almost similar to that of Greece (21 newspaper excerpts per 1,000 inv., 2000). Among the newspapers, traditionally the state-owned morning newspaper Nova Macedonia (founded in 1944, 25,000 copies) and the evening newspaper Večer (founded in 1963, 30,000 copies) have been most important; both are in Macedonian. However, new private magazines have been started successfully. There are also daily newspapers in Albanian and Turkish.

Especially in terms of radio, the independence of Northern Macedonia has meant a large and growing diversity. Radiotelevizija Skopje, formerly part of the Yugoslav radio and television network, changed its name to Macedonia Radio Televizija (MRT) in 1991. MRT has six radio and three TV channels that, in addition to Macedonian broadcasts, include Albanian, Turkish and Serbian.

The media played an important and positive role in the multicultural Northern Macedonian society during the disintegration of Yugoslavia. There is no censorship in Northern Macedonia, and the media is more independent than in Serbia and Croatia. There are 206 radio and 282 TV receivers per 1,000 residents (2000).


According to APARENTINGBLOG, throughout history, many different people have left cultural imprints in the area that is today Northern Macedonia. In the country, for example, there are medieval Byzantine churches with beautiful frescoes and old Turkish bath houses, which are now often converted into art galleries.

In the cultural field, good conditions prevail for the minority groups, which have their own theater in Skopje alongside the Macedonian national theater.

Macedonian literature was first established when the Macedonian was declared as the official language of the Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1944. The first Macedonian novel was written in 1952 by poet and author Slavko Janevski. Among younger writers are Vanja Izova Veleva, Janko Ninov, Jordan Danilovski and Eftim Kletnikov. Many of today’s writers write everything from poetry and short stories to essays and children’s books, and also often work as translators and literary critics.

One of the most popular singing artists in the Balkans was the then Macedonia Toše Proeski, who died in 2007 in a car accident, only 26 years old.

The Macedonians like to dance traditional dances such as the ring dance concerns, often accompanied by instruments such as the tap (a large drum) and the Zurla (wind instrument).

Macedonian art is perhaps best known for its ancient Byzantine church paintings, but in Skopje there is also a museum of modern art, where international greats such as Pablo Picasso are represented but also modern Macedonian artists such as Dimitar Kondovski and Risto Lozanoski.

At the Venice Film Festival in 1994, Milčo Mančevskis won Before the Rain, the prize falls as the best film. During the 2000s he made a couple of films that in various ways raised the infected relationship with Greece (see Modern history).



Button win for VMRO-DPMNE in parliamentary elections

December 11

When the new election is finally implemented, the ruling VMRO-DPMNE receives just over 38 percent of the vote and the Social Democratic SDSM just under 37 percent. It gives 51 seats against 49. BDI gets 10 seats and the newly formed Albanian Besa 5.


Earthquake shakes Skopje

11 September

An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hits the metropolitan area. About 50 people are injured, as are many buildings. Smaller aftershocks follow the days that follow, causing people to sleep outdoors and keep their children away from school.


New Election Date

August 31st

Leading politicians in Macedonia agree that new elections will be held on December 11. The decision is made after a seven-hour meeting between politicians and representatives of the US and the EU. It is the third time a date for new elections has been decided, but the two earlier ones (April 24 and June 5 respectively) were postponed.

Deadly floods

August 6th

22 people are killed, hundreds are damaged and a large number of buildings are destroyed when a violent rainfall hits the capital Skopje. The authorities are now accused of poorly maintained sewerage systems.


New agreement between the political parties

July 20

With the help of the EU and the US, the four largest political parties manage to agree on a new attempt to resolve the protracted political crisis in the country. The new agreement now includes, among other things, a genuine “washing” of electoral lengths and reforms that will guarantee impartial media reporting. In general, the agreement is similar to what was concluded a year earlier (see June / July 2015) but not able to implement.


New government hostile mass protest

June 20

In a new mass protest (“Citizens come to demand justice” in the context of “the colorful revolution”), tens of thousands of protesters are walking the streets of Skopje with renewed demands on the government to, among other things, allow the special court for high political crimes (see April 2016) to continue his business and for President Ivanov to step down.

Medical marijuana is approved

June 14

Like other Balkan countries after Croatia, Macedonia approves the use of marijuana for medical use. Other use or sale / possession of marijuana can result in up to 10 years in prison.

The President takes back all pardons

6th June

Following pressure from both the Macedonian opposition but especially from the US and the EU, President Ivanov recalls all the pardons from April’s suspected politicians Already ten days earlier he had removed 22 of the 56 suspected politicians from the list of pardons.


Parliament postpones the election

May 19th

At the request of the Albanian party BDI, the Constitutional Court raises the question of re-election and concludes that it was against the Constitution to dissolve Parliament. Following the court’s opinion, Parliament will gather and vote to postpone the parliamentary elections.

Albanians demonstrate

May 10

In Skopje, around 20,000 Albanians are walking in the streets in protest against the discrimination they consider themselves to be exposed to in society. The peaceful demonstration is led by a series of opposition movements aimed at the government but also against established Albanian political parties. The demonstration is being held on the anniversary of the events in the city of Kumanovo, when a dozen Albanians and eight police officers were killed.

The protests resume

May 3

After a May Day break and the Orthodox Easter weekend, protesters in “the colorful revolution” – so-called because the attendees wear colorful T-shirts and throw color on public buildings – again out on the streets of Skopje but also in other cities. In the city of Tetovo, both ethnic Macedonians and Albanians are taking part in the protests, which are also bribed by government-friendly protesters. At the same time, the EU is seriously calling on Macedonia’s politicians to try to reach a solution to the increasingly political crisis in the country.


The EU sets up mediation talks

April 21

The talks between the political parties that would be held in Vienna under EU supervision are suspended. The EU declares that it is available but that the parties must first show that they are serious about wanting to see a democratic future for Macedonia.

The presidential building is set on fire

April 13

Kravaller erupts in the capital Skopje after the president’s actions. Protesters enter the presidential building and set fire to the interior.

The president pardons suspected politicians

April 12

The political crisis in Macedonia is exacerbated when President Gjorge Ivanov in advance lets pardon the more than fifty politicians who risk prosecution for a series of crimes by the special prosecutor appointed in the fall of 2015 (the special prosecutor is included in the agreement negotiated by the EU, among other things to deal with the country’s political problems, see July 2015). At a press conference, Ivanov declares that he “only uses his constitutional right for the good of the country” but the opposition, and the outside world, condemns the president’s decision.

Tear gas and rubber bullets against migrants

April 10

At least 300 people are injured, according to Doctors Without Borders, as Macedonian police use tear gas and rubber bullets against refugees and migrants who try, but fail, to get through the closed border between Greece and Macedonia. About 11,000 people are stuck on the Greek side since the border was closed a month earlier. The incident causes mutual protests from Greece and Macedonia, respectively: Athens accuses Macedonian police of assault while Skopje accuses Greek police of having the situation depleted.

Parliament dissolved before the recent election

April 6

A majority of the members decide to dissolve Parliament so that new elections can be held as planned on 5 June. Shortly before, however, the Social Democratic ministers in the transitional government submit their resignation applications and party leader Zoran Zaev explains that his party, SDSM, does not intend to take part in the new elections because all conditions have not been met. This applies, among other things, to a substantial “washing” of the electoral lengths and guarantees of impartial media reporting.


The Balkan route is closed

March 9

Once the EU and Turkey have reached a draft agreement on the refugee issue and Slovenia has closed its borders to anyone except those who have valid travel documents, seek international protection or have humanitarian reasons, Macedonia is following suit with Croatia and Serbia. This means that the so-called Balkan route for migrants is closed, and thousands of refugees are at risk of being trapped in Greece or forced to seek alternative, more dangerous routes into Europe.


The choice is postponed

February 24th

Parliament votes to postpone the elections, until 5 June. The decision comes after a long debate, since VMRO-DPMNE changed at the last moment. The days before, when the United States and the EU proposed a postponement of the election, Gruevski protested loudly. The outside world believes that the conditions for a free and fair election are lacking.

Ex-ministers are accused of electoral fraud

February 12

A special prosecutor points out former Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska, Transport Minister Mile Janakieski and Government Secretary-General Kiril Bozinovski as suspected of forming a special group with the task of organizing cheating in the parliamentary elections. Five judges and four members of the electoral commission are also under investigation.


The Prime Minister resigns

January 13

According to the agreement negotiated in 2015 with the help of mainly the EU to solve the political crisis in Macedonia, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski submits his resignation application. As the interim head of government until the parliamentary elections expected in April, the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party will appoint its secretary general Emil Dimitriev.

Macedonia Culture

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