We convey the Minister’s statement in full:
“Let me begin with congratulations, congratulations to all of our citizens, on the great news and great success that we have achieved after the completion of the process of ratification of our NATO membership.
Today’s decision by the EU member states to start negotiations with us is confirmation that this week we will really have two historical decisions for all of us and our homeland, NATO membership and the start of negotiations with the EU.
Let me also express my personal satisfaction for being a participant in these two successful processes and that I have participated in two key episodes of our European path, gaining the candidate status in 2005, and today – the start of EU negotiations.
It was an honor and a privilege and I also congratulate all those who have contributed at least in a small part of the work that was completed in this process.
This is a week of two great successes, but unfortunately this is also a week of a great crisis in the country and around the world. A crisis that all of mankind is facing, but also a crisis that all of our citizens are facing.
Everything is changing at the speed of light – problems are changing, challenges are changing, and now thank god successes as well, however in success and in crisis one thing remains the same – and that is that VMRO DPMNE continues to, instead of assistance, instead of praise, to work only with lies.
They neither help with the crisis, nor congratulate or express joy for success. In these moments when we are leading a lion’s, and literally lion’s battle with the coronavirus, at the same time when we are marking the greatest successes to our country’s strategic goals, the opposition is trying to waste our time with lies. And this is why I hope will be the last time that I spend a few minutes on this statement, because it really is enough.
I want to urge them to stop with the lies because the lies will neither hide their shame for the dishonest attitude to the crisis, nor will it hide the shame that they have kept us stuck for 11 years, and we have shown that in two and a half years we can gain NATO membership and the start of negotiations with the European Union.
What really bothers me is that in these important and difficult times, they are really defocusing our work and believe because we don’t have time, we’ll just let the lies stay on the surface. I want to most openly, most directly, deny the lie that is clearly a lie even to any citizen who can put two and two together.
It is a lie that anyone, and especially me, can you imagine in the past week I have been on official trips and have spent public funds on travel and representation expenses. Can you imagine it is the same week when the Skopje airport was largely closed. That is the same week when any kind-hearted, and even malicious citizen, if they go on Facebook and click, they will see that I, like my other colleagues, is present every day at the Main Headquarters and is every day present at a government session.
By the way, exactly this period last Thursday at the Ministry of Defence I made a decision to abolish representation expenses for the entire Ministry, including me. And now, in a situation when you are doing it because you have to deal with a serious enemy, a deadly virus which much richer and more prepared states have succumbed to, in such a situation to be denounced from a party that became known for bison lunches and representation expenses which every quarter are three times larger than any previous or future government, is really a disgrace.
I want to confirm that maybe VMRO DPMNE may not understand that someone is doing their job and is not thinking about privileges. The people that we watched how they spent public funds obviously cannot understand different behaviour. However, we want to send the message that this is not the time for fake news. And that we are obliged to spend the time of the citizens for real problems, for real topics and for real challenges.
The lies of VMRO DPMNE, which were at least confirmed by a court decision, should definitely not waste our time and therefore, dear citizens, I apologize for having to react today because a lie that has been repeated 100 times in the habits of VMRO DPMNE were unfortunately becoming the truth. I wish to tell you that the whole focus, mine and of the Government, is on how to deal with this crisis, how to continue the success we have achieved on the plan with NATO and the European Union and how to ensure that our country does not pay a price, neither in terms of our health and life, nor in terms of the possible negative consequences for the economy. We will continue to work, and if they do not have a smarter job, let them continue to lie.”