Macedonian Opposition: Gruevski Equals Milosevic
Hundreds of opposition protesters blockaded the downtown boulevards in the Macedonian capital Skopje Tuesday demanding the stepping down of the government of the rightist VMRO-DPMNE party and Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.
The protesters led by former President and former PM Branko Crvenkovski raised slogans such as "Gruevski = Milosevic" referring to former Yugoslavian dictator Slobodan Milosevic, and "Macedonia Has No Democracy", Bulgarian news agency BGNES reported.
Street protests against the rule of Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski have intensified since the last week of 2012 because of the way Gruevski's parliamentary majority adopted Macedonia's state budget for 2012. Opposition MPs and citizens are reported to have been injured in clashes resulting from the street rallies.
The comparison between Gruevski and Milosevic belongs to Crvenkovski who says the one goal of the protests is to restore the authority of the state institutions in Macedonia which has been crushed by VMRO-DPMNE.
The largest recent opposition rally in Macedonia's capital Skopje when over 7 000 are estimated to have rallied demanding Gruevksi's ouster and early elections.
Alongside criticism of crushing democracy, the Gruevski Cabinet is criticized for failing to carry out budget cuts and tackle the economic crisis in Macedonia, where the unemployment rate has reached 31%.
VMRO-DPMNE has rejected the resignation calls stating that it held early elections at the insistence of the opposition only a 1.5 years ago, which were won by Gruevski.