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Macedonian government crisis escalating

Tensions are escalating in Macedonia, due to inter-governmental conflicts on ethnic issues.

On Sunday, the Democratic Party of Albanians (DPA) ministers in the government announced they would submit a request to DPA leader Menduh Thaci calling for all Albanians to withdraw from government institutions as a response to Gruevski’s statement implying that a possibility existed that the DPA had quit the government because it was working in the interests of Serbia, Kosovo and Greece.

“What the DPA has done is, for me, an unexpected move. We’ve been together for a year and a half - we know their weaknesses, oversights, and mistakes, but it’s not my aim to humiliate the DPA,” Gruevski told journalists at an agricultural forum organized yesterday by his VMRO DPMNE party.

The prime minister added that he was, at this moment in time, “focused on state interests,” and that there was a fortnight left until the NATO summit in Bucharest where there was a chance of Macedonia being invited to join the alliance.

In a statement this morning, DPA ministers said, among other things, that their main aim was also NATO entry.

“I’ll work for Greece because I want Macedonia to be a NATO member, I’ll work for all NATO members, for Sarkozy, Merkel, Brown and Scheffer, US President George Bush, but right now, I will never again work with Gruevski,” said Deputy Prime Minister and DPA official Imer Aliu.

Aliu blasted Gruevski, claiming that he was only left with “Serbia and Russia.”

For the DPA’s decision to leave the government to become binding, it needs to be confirmed by its party organs, and the DPA has announced that it will discuss the matter.

The political crisis in Macedonia erupted after the DPA left the government because Gruevski had rejected the party’s demands for a law to be passed on use of the Albanian language, for the status of members of the former National Liberation Army to be resolved, and for Kosovo’s unilateral independence to be recognized.

After the DPA had left the government, a minority government was formed. The opposition and government have to take decisions via consensus, while the opposition has said that it will be constructive, and that will not, for now, comment on political one-upmanship and add further “oil to the fire.” (B92)