SITUATION IN CRISIS REGIONS.
Monday night and Tuesday morning in Tetovo region there were shootings from different kind of weapons, less intensive than the previous night, as police sources announce, reports MIA's corespondent.
In the last 24 hours the shootings came from downtown and larger residential complexes, from the SEE University, the Textile High School "Goce Stojcevski," from the elementary school "SS Cyril and Methodius," some illegally build complexes by the railroad and the river Pena, as well as from direction of many villages in the region.
Fire was opened at 03.45 Tuesday morning on the Vuke Kostadinovski's house in Otusiste village, Tetovo area, MIA's correspondent reports.
Several bullets hit the house, but there were no casualties. At the time when the fire was opened, Kostadinovski, his wife and two children were inside the house.
The police was notified on this armed attack and works on discovering the armed group that frequently opened gunfire during the night in that part of Otusiste inhabited by Macedonians.
OSCE representative visited Tuesday the village.
SITUATION IN CRISIS REGIONS.
No violations of the public order and peace have been registered during Tuesday night in Kumanovo - Lipkovo region, MIA's correspondent reports.
Tuesday night two incidents in the village of Orizare have been registered caused by students from Albanian nationality that celebrated their graduation.
Patrolling of ethnically mixed police teams is continuing without any problems in Lipkovo villages.
There are no shootouts in Tetovo crisis region Wednesday morning, reported MIA's correspondent.
Nevertheless, according to police sources, some shootings from the villages of Semsevo, Palatica, Ozormiste, Slatino, Mala Recica and Neprosteno were heard in several occasions over the night.
There were shootouts also from the area of the large residential complexes in Tetovo town, from Vonvardarska, Kupenik and Gorna Garsija settlements, from the State Reformatory and the Teke of Tetovo.
According to police sources, series of gunshots from villages Semsovo and Ozormiste were registered Tuesday evening in the period between 19,00h-20,00h.
During the afternoon hours, military airplanes flew over Tetovo and Sar Mountain, which according to ARM Spokesman Blagoja Markovski "performed exercise flights".
NATO Extends Amber Fox Mission.
NATO Press Information Center
NATO has today agreed to extend the mission of Operation Amber Fox for an additional four months until October 26, 2002. The decision by the North Atlantic Council follows a request from the President of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia1 for NATO to continue its mission after the current mandate expires on June 26, 2002. Operation Amber Fox provides security for the international monitors who were deployed to the country to monitor the re-entry of security forces into former crisis areas, although the primary responsibility for this security remains with the Government of FYROM.
Operation Amber Fox, in co-operation with the government of FYROM and other international organisations, has made a significant contribution to the implementation of the peace plan in the country. Operation Amber Fox has been under German command since it was launched. As of June, it will be Dutch-led. NATO is grateful to both Germany for its excellent leadership, and to the Netherlands for agreeing to take over. NATO remains committed to the stability and prosperity of the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia.
LJUBE BOSKOVSKI: I HAVE GUILTY CONSCIENCE FOR THE LEUNOVO INCIDENT.
"I have a guilty conscience for the incident at the tactical exercise of the special police unit "The Lions" held near Leunovo and I am ready to apologize to the editor in chief of "Dnevnik" daily and to all journalists," said Macedonian Minister of Interior Ljube Boskovski.
As he said, if the Gostivar trial court found him guilty, he would immediately resign.
Commenting the accusations from SDSM leader Branko Crvenkovski, delivered in an interview with the A1 TV from Skopje, when Crvenkovski called Boskovski "natural disaster", Boskovski said that he was amazed by this statement, because Crvenkovski was also one of those who voted for his appointment for interior minister.
He said that if anyone could prove that he or any member of his family have earned at least a Denar of extra profit using malversation, not only that he would resign but he was ready to also answer in front of a court.
Boskovski explained that every day he receives thousands of letters of support.
"After the opening of the public poll at the web-site of the "Vest" daily, where the main question was if the minister of interior should resign, I received 400,000 letters of support. I cannot let down these Macedonian citizens because Macedonia is still not reintegrated," Boskovski said.
Asked in the head of the exercise at Leunovo, under-colonel Boban Utkovski was sacrificed, Boskovski said that he would not sacrifice anyone and that he would not like to speculate, because there was presumption of innocence until one was found guilty.
Regarding the telephone threats that Dnevnik journalist Daniela Veljanovska, one of the wounded in Leunovo, was receiving, Boskovski said that this accusation was part of the "pallette of brutalities against the minister of interior."
Asked to clarify the results from the investigation on the Leunovo exercise, Boskovski said that the investigative team reported many flaws, adding that this problem would be internally resolved.
SESSION OF THE MACEDONIAN GOVERNMENT.
The Macedonian Government will submit draft-proposal to the Macedonian Federation of Trade Unions in ten days regarding the request for determining the lowest salary of the public administration's employees, and the current negotiations with IMF will be completed by then, Government's spokesman Gjorgji Trendafilov said.
"The Government will not give in to the pressure of the Trade Union leadership as this is serious social problem and should be thoroughly analyzed and afterwards a legal solution that would not be a burden of the Macedonian budget should be proposed," Trendafilov said.
The problem that has not been solved in the past ten years cannot be resolved in two days, he said adding that several ministers held continuos negotiations with the trade unions leadership over the weekend.
Speaking of the repercussions from the mass protest and emphasizing that there is some evident political infiltration in the strike organization and in the communication between the Trade Union and the Government, Trendafilov said that "the Ministry of Labor and Social Policy has seriously considered the option of employing educated but unemployed staff in the kindergartens if the child care is still not offered."
He informed that all laws arising from Framework Agreement including the draft-law on passports have been already submitted to the Macedonian Parliament.
"Regarding the Law on identification cards i.e. the use of languages in the forms, the citizen that does not speak Macedonian could request the form to be filled also in his language and the passports will be unified," Trendafilov said.
To a question what specific measures have been undertaken regarding "Leunovo" case, Trendafilov explained that "the Government has not undertaken anything yet, but the investigation is carried out in Gostivar Court and in the Ministry of Interior, which should confirm whether some of the officials in charge have made any omissions that are already determined by the regulation book."
He also spoke of the package of economic proposals, which were agreed at the negotiations between the Government and World Trade Organization referring to Macedonia's integration in this organization.
At the Tuesday session presided by Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski, the Macedonian government discussed on the draft-law for foreign trade operating.
This legal act opens possibilities for opening of the markets, lowering of the trade barriers, non-discrimination in the trade with all clients, transparency if the information, rules and regulations, enabling of wider choice of products and quality and more efficient policy for adjusting to the markets and stimulation of the economic development, which is context to the recommendations from the World Trade Organization.
This law and its provisions are completely in accordance with the constitutional provisions for market conduct of the business entities, in accordance with the rules of the WTO, which refer to the protective measures during the export and the import.
The adoption of this law enables liberalization of the turnover in the foreign trade operating of the subjects from Macedonia and abroad. The trade will proceed without obstacles through commercial relations and based on mutual trust among the WTO members.
The government also reviewed and adopted the Decision for early buyout of the securities issued as reimbursement for the old blocked bank savings.
The government reviewed and adopted a package of changes and supplements from four legal subjects suggested by the Ministry of Interior. The changes mainly refer to the Law for traffic security, especially to the categories of driving licenses, which were so far not regulated with a Law.
The commitment for establishment of a legal state based on the principles of democracy and legitimacy, the ministry of interior also believes that there is a need of a law that would concern the organizational structure in the ministry.
The package from the ministry of interior also includes changes and supplements to the Law for personal ID, as one of the basic commitments for harmonization of the legislation with the one applied in the west-European countries. According to the changes, the personal ID would be also used as identification for crossing of the state border, if there is ratified international agreement.
The government also reviewed and adopted the draft-law for supplements to the law for passports.
At the session, the government decided to award the Kometal handball club with Denar 1,500,000 for its victory at the European Handball Championship.
GOVERNMENT AND TRADE UNION FEDERATION ARE CLOSE TO REACHING AN AGREEMENT.
The amount of the lowest salary of employees in the public sector will be known in about 10 days", President of the Federation of Trade Unions of Macedonia (SSM) Vanco Muratovski stated after the meeting with Prime Minister Ljubco Georgievski.
Muratovski emphasised that SSM and the Government came close to an agreement on this issue, adding that the deadline for determination of the amount of the lowest salary has been set at about 10 days, due to the current negotiations between the Government and the IMF.
The SSM President expressed his satisfaction from the talks with Prime Minister Georgievski, estimating them as "correct, useful and exceptionally cooperative".
He informed that the strike would continue according to the determined dynamics, until the Government did not reach an agreement on the SSM requests, announcing Wednesday's session of the SSM Presidency.
"The Prime Minister did not have any remarks on the strike. He fully understood the SSM requests, especially the determination of the lowest salary. The difference between our lowest limit and the limit of the Government is not great", Muratovski stated.
According to him, the "final figure for determination of the lowest salary in the public sector" should emerge in 10 days at the latest.
Answering the question what would happen if the Assembly disbanded in around 10 days, Muratovski said, "in that case, the strike will last until the elections".
Regarding the Law on loss making companies, it was concluded that, "a solution for the employees in the loss making companies should be found".
The meeting also tackled the proposals for changes in the Law on health protection, with Muratovski's insistence for the draft law not to be passed immediately. On the SSM request on employees in the defence, the passing of a Law on army service was also on the agenda.
"The Prime Minister did not offer any positions at the talks. He does not intend to buy me, and I am not for sale. There was no pressure", Muratovski emphasised.
At the constructive meeting, Georgievski informed Muratovski about a discussion on today's Government session on "the SSM requests and the Government understanding and efforts to solve the basic problems and to meet those requests," the Prime Minister's Cabinet said in a press release.
Speaking about all open issues, Georgievski expressed his belief that an agreement for the lowest salary would be reached in ten days, and therefore asked for the strike to be put on hold.
Georgievski also said that the Government was ready to immediately start with payment of the yearly vacation bonus, i.e. packages of food products, and asked an understanding for this kind of bonus payment, saying that it would be a significant assistance to the Macedonian producers.
The general strike of the employees in the public sector continued on Tuesday, under the motto: "we demand salaries for decent life."
According to the leadership of the Trade Union Federation of Macedonia, the strike of the employees in the public sector is proceeding satisfactory in all trade union organizations, although certain obstructions have been reported.
The strike proceeds better in the other cities than in the capital, where in the education and judiciary institutions the threats to the workers have continued, i.e. the employers have threatened that their salaries would be decreased for 60% if they join in the protest.
In the other towns, obstructions have been noticed only in the medical center in Tetovo, where the head of the institution Raim Rhaci dismissed the head of the transfusion department Blagica Petrusevska, which is on the contrary with the provisions for strike. The head of the Trade Union Federation Vanco Muratovski announced criminal charges against Thaci.
Most of the schools, kindergartens and other educational institutions were closed on Tuesday, as well as the medical institutions.
There is certain reserve in the judiciary institutions, which due to the bad results from the strike they organized in 2001 are sceptic about the results from this protest.
The employees in the defense held a 30 minute protest in front of the Ilinden barracks, thus expressing their support to all participants in the strike.
The roadblocks that were announced for Thursday will be placed on Friday, due to better coordination with the workers from the loss-making companies.
Earlier of Tuesday, Muratovski had a meeting with the Head of the IMF mission in Macedonia Franec Rozvadowski, to whom he told that "Macedonia is perhaps the only country in the world that has not determined the lowest salary."
Muratovski said that the IMF representatives supported the demands of the Federation, stating that "all that is legitimate ought to be demanded, but having in mind the possibilities of the country to comply.