Threats and Intimidation to Civil society in Macedonia

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In a public statement circulated in early February, Macedonian ruling party leader and former Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski warned civil society organizations to get ready for a ‘final showdown.’ He has also stated that allegedly 90-95% of CSOs in Macedonia are financed by George Soros, or by foreign governments under Soros’ control. According to reports of Macedonian CSOs working on the issue of financing of CSOs, it appears that these claims are false as about 5-10% of the total financial inflow in the civil society sector, comes from George Soros through the Foundation Open Society – Macedonia. Coinciding with these claims, a campaign “Stop Operation Soros” appeared, informally known as “SOS”, which promotes a seemingly similar message as the ruling party on the issue. Simultaneously, the Public Revenue Office, on the request of yet unknown state institution, has launched a series of financial inspections on 21 CSOs which have worked closely with Open Society Foundations – Macedonia on awareness-raising and educative campaigns ahead of the elections. More information is available here.

Source: Global Voices

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