The Macedonians living in Albania, especially in the Municipality of Pustec, have become a regular topic in Macedonia during pre-elections. Ten days ago, the Minister of Interior Oliver Spasovski revealed that the police had discovered illegally issued Macedonian identity cards to residents of Pustec, which had been used at the elections of 2013 and 2014.
According to Minister Spasovski, the Macedonians from Pustec had mainly voted in the Municipality of Center, registered at addresses of state-owned flats, which proves that several state institutions have been involved in this case.
Through the monitoring and the analysis of the last few election cycles, CIVIL – Center for Freedom noted that the government had been abusing state resources and institutions in bringing voters from Pustec.
But, only a few days after the statement was given by Minister Spasovski in that the government had been “importing” voters from Pustec, in an organized manner, to vote for the candidate of VMRO-DPMNE in the Municipality of Center, the “Tinex” company, which is owned by the family of the former mayor of that municipality, Vladimir Todorovic, gave away food packages, for New Year and the Christmas holidays, to the residents of Pustec.
The official Facebook page of “Tinex” says: “For the purpose of brightening up the New Year’s and Christmas holidays of the socially vulnerable groups in the Municipality of Pustec, Albania, ‘Tinex’ has donated 1.150 humanitarian packages with basic food products: flour, oil, sugar, beans, rice and confectionary products. The total value of this donation is 616.000 Denars. The donation was given for the purpose of improving the living conditions of the socially vulnerable groups of the Municipality of Pustec, which is mainly populated with Macedonia population. In addition to the food packages, ‘Tinex’ gave away 70 new year packages to the small children. The donation was received by the Mayor of Pustec, Mr. Edmond Temelko.”
Citizens are divided on the social networks in regards to Tinex’s action. Some comment that this was a good move, to please and help the poor have a humble meal for the holidays, while others consider that Tinex’s action is meant to bribe the residents of Pustec and to prepare them for the upcoming parliamentary elections in April.
That residents of Pustec really did vote at the elections in 2014 in Macedonia can be confirmed by reports of Skopje television stations Alsat-M and TV 21, whose teams visited the Municipality of Pustec.
The example of Tinex seems to prove the saying that “the hand that gives is the hand that will receive”. Namely, these days, the Government decided for the “Tinex” company to operate the complex “Macedonian Village” in the village of Nerezi in the next 20 years. Hotel “Queens” and the “Tinex” company, owned by the family of the former mayor of the Municipality of Center, Vladimir Todorovic, participated in the tender. For the Ethno Village they will be paying a monthly concession of 3.500 euros with VAT, or for 20 years, the “Tinex” company will have to pay the state approximately 840.000 euros plus VAT.
The complex is built entirely with money from the budget in the amount of 6.5 million euros.