Macedonia Protests Escalate into Violence

Protests in the North Macedonian capital of Skopje escalated into violence as police recorded three injured officers and at least five detained civilians.

The protests were organized by the nationalist opposition party VMRO-DPMNE, which was outraged by Bulgaria’s concessions during North Macedonia’s EU admission process.

According to the North Macedonian Ministry of the Interior, protesters damaged government facilities, including parts of the parliament and the foreign ministry, and threw rocks, pyrotechnics, petrol bombs, and other objects at police which led to severe injuries. 

“A police officer was injured with hard objects in front of the Assembly of the RSM and has been detained for hospital treatment. Another person was detained in front of a catering facility in the area of ​​Centar, for filming with a drone without permission,” Skopje police told North Macedonian news outlet, Mafkax. 

The attacks on the police were denounced by Prime Minister Dimitar Kovacevski, who emphasized that violence could never be justified.

With the aim of ensuring the equal rights of the approximately 3,500 Bulgarians living in North Macedonia, EU member Bulgaria postponed the opening of EU accession discussions with North Macedonia for more than two years.

In order to secure Greece’s support for its EU membership, North Macedonia also previously agreed to change its name from Macedonia in 2018.

It has been 17 years since North Macedonia first applied to join the EU.

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