Macedonia Leaders' 4-Hour Talks End with No Results

World » SOUTHEAST EUROPE | May 27, 2015, Wednesday // 07:48
Bulgaria: Macedonia Leaders' 4-Hour Talks End with No Results Macedonian PM Nikola Gruevski is refusing to resign and pave the way for a transitional government. Photo by EPA/BGNES

A third meeting of Macedonian political leaders has failed to produce any tangible results, local media outlets say.

Heads of four parties held another round of talks in the country's capital Skopje amid a political crisis, with socialist opposition leader Zoran Zaev demanding the government's resignation in a wiretapping scandal.

Earlier in May an attack in the northwestern town of Kumanovo claimed the lives of eight police officers.

It was preceded by massive street protests demanding conservative PM Nikola Gruevski's resignation.

At the meeting Gruevski gave no indications whatsoever he would step down, according to MIA.

Chairmen of the four parties - VMRO-DPMNE of Gruevski, SDSM of Zoran Zaev, DUI of Ali Ahmeti and DPA of Menduh Thaci - agreed to hold another round of talks early next week.

As with previous meeting in Skopje, this one was held under the brokerage of the EU and the US' respective representatives in the Macedonian capital, Aivo Orav and Jess Baily.

Last week Gruevski and Zaev met in Strasbourg to seek solutions, with EU officials acting as mediators, in a conversation that lasted for about ten hours. Though the two discussed the outcome of the meeting during their talks with Ahmeti and Thaci, they failed to explain what concrete issues had been touched. Meanwhile reports emerged that an option to form an interim government headed again by Gruevski had been on the table in Strasbourg.

But despite international efforts, the opposition is determined to pursue goal to "expose" government wrongdoing, with Zaev saying he is to produce new recordings on Thursday to show cases of the cabinet's interference in other branches of power and attempts to exert influence on media outlet, Utrinski vesnik reports.

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Tags: macedonia, Nikola Gruevski, Kumanovo, zoran zaev, Menduh Thaci, Ali Ahmeti, Jess Baily, aivo orav, Strasbourg, wiretapping, protests

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