- на македонски на Блогспот: Протести против поскапувањата во Скопје и Битола
- на македонски на Блогерај: Протести против поскапувањата во Скопје и Битола
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On August 14, 2012, citizens of Skopje and Bitola held simultaneous protests demanding revoking of the decisions of the Energy Regulatory Commission of Macedonia resulting in higher prices of electricity, fuel and central heating for the citizens of Macedonia. The motto of this multi-ethnic protest was the exclamation Aman! (a plea originated in Turkish, and with the meaning "Please, don't!") and each gathered an estimated number (1, 2) of about 2.000 people. The participants considered this a serious crowd for a first protest, organized solely via Facebook event and Twitter (#АМАН, and previously #струја - electric current), without support of other offline structures and during the summer holidays, when these cities are somewhat deserted due to vacations.
|Participant speaking at the beginning of the Aman! protest in Skopje. Behind him are sings with quotes by Kočo Racin, then in Turkish "Turn off the TV/turn on your brain/turn off the sound/raise your voice!" and in Macedonian "Be careful your parents might catch you tweeting during expensive electricity rate!"|
(Note: A reader who wished to remain anonymous sent me a link to the Parliament's site showing that the current president of the Commission, named as apparatchik of the ruling party by Utrinski vesnik, was appointed at the 60th session of the Assembly, June 15, 2009, without any argument, with 56 votes for and 0 against or abstained. I tried to find out if there were opposition members among those who voted, but the PDF with the results is ineligible - it seems there is some conversion mistake.)
|Aman! - Protest in Skopje, the head of the procession on Kliment Ohridski boulevard with signs in Macedonian and Albanian language|
Most of us know that price of electricity is a major input in every economy. This increase also results in a range of increases (in September). We will all feel it, and the people with lower income will suffer most. In addition, from today we also pay for more expensive fuel (gasoline price increased almost 15% during the last month [- continuous trend - in English]) which will also lead increase of prices of other products. Will you remain indifferent to all this?The same day, media reported that the price of bread will rise too, and that the state has taken new foreing loans.
The authorities did not respond to the citizens' demands. They combine official ignoring with a tactics of timing unpopular price hikes during holidays, and a propaganda offensive for distraction of the public through the lustration, as well as letting their mouthpieces confuse the public with comparisons with other countries.
The organizers announced that the protests will continue next Tuesday.
More photos from the Skopje photos and links to other sources follow.
|Before the protest: People gathering at the feet of the Triumphal Arch and the building of electricity distribution company EVN|
|A vies from beneath the Triumphal Arch Porta Macedonia|
|Moving towards nearby entrance of the building housing the Energy Regulation Commission.|
|Knocking on the Regulator's doors.|
|Procession passing by a billboard with beer commercial stating: "Restrain yourself, if you can!"|
|People walking alongside Dimitrije Chupovski boulevard|
|Moving on Kliment Ohridski boulevard toward the Government building.|
|Protest leaflet glued to a window of a run-down pharmacy. The stickers behind inform that the place is for rent and that the pharmacy previously cooperated with the state Health Fund.|
|Crossroads near the seat of the Government. Part of the people walk over Ilinden boulevard...|
|...while the rest come through Kliment Ohridski boul.|
|Passing in front of the Government. The modernist facade will soon be replaced with baroque.|