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Did Gruevski flee with official consent?

November 23rd, 2018

A commentator suspects that the Macedonian authorities allowed former PM Gruevski to flee his country after his corruption conviction, because he is less dangerous as a fugitive abroad than as a prisoner at home.

In Népszava, András Kósa quotes unnamed sources according to whom PM Zaev of Macedonia agreed to allow his chief foe to flee abroad, in exchange for some of his MPs supporting the government initiative to change the country’s name to ‘Northern Macedonia’ (which will remove the Greek veto preventing Macedonia’s NATO membership and progress towards EU membership). Eight MPs of Gruevski’s VMRO party voted in favour, enabling the adoption of the law. The former Prime Minister was under constant police surveillance, Kósa writes, thus it would have been almost impossible for him to secretly cross the border. He adds that the Macedonian authorities only submitted their extradition request to the Hungarian authorities when Gruevski had already been granted asylum, by which time extradition was legally impossible. Besides, there have been regular exchanges between the foreign and interior ministers of the two countries, thus Kósa believes that the theory of a coordinated manoeuvre to remove Mr Gruevski from Macedonia is not too far-fetched.

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