Warnings for sanctions against FYROM, World Bank freezes loans for communes

Warnings for sanctions against FYROM, World Bank freezes loans for communes

Skopje, 27 April 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Naser Pajaziti

The World Bank has frozen its projects and loans for FYROM. This bank has stressed that the funds for this country will be released after the elections. The World Bank has suspended the second installment of low interest loans for rural development of communes.

In January of this year, the World Bank has approved the second project for the development of communal services with a value of 28 million USD. But these funds can only be used after the early parliamentary elections. 57 communes would benefit from these funds.

Several communes said that they have used the funds of the World Bank from the first project for the development of communal services, but some of them said that their projects do not depend only on the loans of this bank, but also on internal sources.

Head of the commune of Karposh, Stevce Jakimovski, who represents VMRO-DPMNE, said that the projects of this commune do not depend on the World Bank funds.

“So far, we have not lived with the World Bank funds, but with our sources which are secured by the citizens as taxpayers and other funds that enter the budget of the commune. This means that the World Bank offers us loans for which we pay an interest. If it doesn’t intend to offer any further loans, then development will be guaranteed by local government. If the World Bank doesn’t have money, we will borrow from commercial banks in the country”, Jakimovski said.

University professor of economics, Elmi Aziri told IBNA that this step of the World Bank is just a warning for the increase of sanctions by the international factor for FYROM. He said that there are suspicions that these funds are being misused for electoral purposes.

“Due to the abuses that may happen for electoral purposes, the World Bank, as the institution which grants the loans, has decided for these funds to be used after the elections. The more the political crisis lasts, the more sanctions there will be”, Aziri said.

The warning of the World Bank comes following warnings by several international media and Macedonian opposition that FYROM will face economic and political sanctions.

Ismet Ramadani, head of the Euro-Atlantic Council organization in Skopje told IBNA that the first ones who will be attacked will be political and institutional personalities, which are blocking the implementation of the June 2 political agreement.

“Based on what I know, the EU is planning to make a black list which includes those who have blocked the electoral process. These sanctions include the freezing of their funds and denying them entry in EU countries and USA. I think that the consequences, in any case, will be suffered by the citizens, as the country is risking a deep economic crisis”, Ramadani said.

The situation in the country was aggravated as president George Ivanov announced an amnesty for 56 politicians or heads of state institutions who were involved in unlawful and corruption activities. Ivanov said that this was done to avoid the deep political crisis and to give way to the dialogue and the solution of the crisis.

But this decision was received with protests and counter protests backed by majority and the opposition. /balkaneu.com/