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Journalists demand that their work be properly valued

These days when courts are rejecting the lawsuits of the journalists who managed to escape alive from the Parliament building on 27 April 2017, they (journalists) demand systemic changes that will protect their safety, ensure better working conditions and proper evaluation of the working hours. The pandemic had very profound impact on this profession. They lost five of their colleagues and dozens of them lost their jobs. The assistance from the authorities was partial and insufficient. On the occasion of the World Press Freedom Day, Dragan Sekulovski, Executive Director of Association of Journalists of Macedonia, the journalist Natasha Stojanovska and President of the Trade Union of Independent Journalists and Media Workers (SSNRM), Pavle Belovski, speak in this podcast of Res Publica.

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The Balkans is far from herd immunity against COVID 19

A group of citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina has filed criminal charges against the authorities. They demand responsibility for the vaccine delays and the high number of deaths from the virus. Despite the mass-scale vaccination, Serbia is far from herd immunity with only 15% of immunized people. In order to slow the spread of the corona virus, 70 to 80 percent of the population need to be vaccinated. The assumptions are that every third person in RN Macedonia had contact with the corona virus. In the video podcast of #ResPublicaMK we talk about the perspectives and dynamics of the vaccination process in the region.

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The Balkans is increasingly sending Eurosceptic tones

The European Union has not met expectations it promised to the Balkan countries, hence the people are angry and disappointed. The interlocutors from the region who follow the European processes say for this #ResPublicaMK podcast that the EU will not easily regain the lost credibility. But despite the euroscepticism, young people are migrating to the EU, fleeing the domestic clientelistic systems.

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The Jewish community is waiting for an apology and recognition from Bulgaria for more than 70 years

Goran Sadikarijo from the Holocaust Fund of the Jews from Macedonia says that every coin has two sides: for Bulgaria, one of the sides is the rescue of the Jews, and the other side is the deportation. "When they themselves will be ready and aware of the crimes committed by their predecessors, I think the time will be right to finally admit that", he added. Ernest Herzog from the World Jewish Congress says that history cannot be shown selectively and the moment we begin to pick which truths will be shown and which will be hidden under the carpet, a negative revision of history happens that cannot be justified.

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Knaus and Biber: Sofia is under pressure to give up the veto against Skopje

An increasing number of European governments are calling in Sofia and saying that the veto is unreasonable. You have to give it up. If that does not happen, no one will blame Skopje, and that is important", said Gerald Knaus of the European Stability Initiative. According to Professor Florian Bieber, blocking N.Macedonia from starting negotiations is not a European position, adding that it is important to build alliances in order to continue the pressure on Bulgaria.

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What is the cost to the Balkans from the prematurely relaxed COVID-19 measures?

The number of people infected with COVID-19 in all Balkan countries is increasing. Part of the public accuses the authorities in Serbia and Macedonia of prematurely relaxing the preventive measures by flirting with the electorate in the run-up to the elections in both countries. Amidst an epidemic, Bosnia and Herzegovina has been rocked by a corruption scandal involving the supply of inadequate respirators. What is the price that the Balkan will pay for such decisions? Representatives of the civil society in Macedonia, Serbia, BiH and Albania discuss these issues in the regional Res Publica podcast, as part of the initiative #TalesFromTheRegion.

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