Macedonia's Census Begins with Scandal
Macedonia is launching Saturday its largest so far Census of the population, the households and the housing units.
The Census, which began at 8 am, will conclude on October 15, and has the goal to provide complete, transparent and quality statistics. It is monitored by experts from Eurostat, the statistics office of the EU, who are to assess the compliance of Macedonia's Census with international recommendations.
Despite all this, the Census started with a scandal triggered by the resignation of the Chair of the State Commission, Vesna Janevska, who alarmed the Census will be largely forged and highly politicized. Her Deputy, Abdumenaf Bedzheti, resigned earlier, while six other members – ethnic Albanians and Turks, also threaten to quit.
The information was reported Saturday by the correspondent of the Bulgarian National Radio, BNR, in Skopje.
Janevska is quoted saying that requests to countethnic Albanians and Macedonian emigrants, who have not been in the country for over a year, based on copies of their ID papers is a violation of the law, the standards and Eurostat's rules.
Observers comment that the issue stems from the lack of trust between different ethnicities in Macedonia. The government admits that they are "misunderstandings, which will be ironed out in the course of the Census."
The team of the State Commission was reshuffled late Friday, just hours ahead of the official start of the Census.
The first data will be published in December 2011.