“I congratulate the members of the Army from the barracks across the country that I will visit to personally thank them. Everyone who got the chance used it and did their job flawlessly. You convinced us that every member of the Army is ready to respond to every challenge. That is why we became a NATO member. You did it for yourself, for your fellow citizens, for the Army, but above all for your homeland” said Minister Shekerinska in her address to the members of the Army in the course of today’s visit to the Chede Filipovski – Dame Barracks in Kichevo.
Minister Shekerinska said that in the past two years there have been major changes for the members of the Army – every given word was kept and that every decision for higher salaries, housing compensation, improved of standards was in the service of our members.
“Today I can say that as a result of such decisions the Army is an institution in which every member of the military has a 16% higher salary, every civilian who unfortunately had the lowest salaries in the entire public administration, now has a 28% higher salary, and each of you can use the additional financial compensation for housing compensation of over 8,000 denars, which previously only a portion of you received. Thus, from a monthly income of 20,000 denars, today we have professional soldiers with a salary of at least 30,000 denars. That shows that we were able to increase the income by 50% in just 2 years. That is my way of working, to say only the things that I am certain that I can do and provide more. That is why in the past few years we have succeeded together with the people in the ministry and with the leadership of the General Staff, to rejuvenate the Army, to provide additional 700 members, both soldiers and junior officers. That is why, for the first time in the Service Law we have provided equal conditions for retirement to the police, and that is why we have not left a single professional soldier over the age of 45 in the lurch and we have managed to provide the basic equipment, such as the boots you already have, the uniforms they are already being shared in the Army units and for which I expect to be completed by the end of June. Let us show that the first concern of every minister in every army should be the care of every soldier,” said Shekerinska.
She underlined that the NATO membership is largely the doing of our members of the Army.
“The Republic of North Macedonia became the 30th NATO member in the most difficult year in the world and that success would not have been possible without your efforts, if it were not for your participation in missions, if it were not for your assistance in every crisis and problem in the country. Today, this is a NATO Army that has increased the salary for each member deployed in mission abroad, an Army which has provided new armoured vehicles after a long period of non-investment in the Army, an Army that will make full use of its NATO membership for its members, but above all for his country.”
The Minister said that the Army remains on its tasks as long as it takes to finally deal with the pandemic. She emphasized that the abolition of the curfew and much of the restrictive measures meant that there was an even greater need for personal responsibility and protection, and called on the Army to send an even more decisive message that personal protection, physical distance, and personal responsibility were necessary to keep the pandemic under control.
The citizens and the state appreciate the professionalism of the members of the Army – said the Minister and thanked the members of the Fourth Infantry Battalion of the First Infantry Brigade, who were in charge of providing security primarily of the state quarantine facilities in Ohrid and Struga.
“You have set an example in the country, you have shown once again that the Army is here for its citizens and that is why I congratulate you,” said the Minister.