- Saturday, December 30, 2017 1:49 PM
Skopje, 30 December 2017 (MIA) - Macedonia in 2018 to become the 30th member of NATO, to be given a clean recommendation for start of pre-accession talks with the EU, to be foster friendly relations with all of its five neighbors and to be the leader in building a new image of the Balkans, are some of the expectations of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev.
In a New Year's, end-of-year address, PM Zaev promises he will open the way for peaceful and quality standards of living for the citizens, an increase in salaries, zero tolerance of corruption, rule of law, to restore trust in institutions, and for transparency in 'a society for all.'
"We are well on the way to conclude the vision of a modern, economically advanced and respected state. Let these priorities unite us. Nowadays, like never before, let each and every one of us accept the responsibility over our future. Now, as the 21st century is entering adulthood, let us pass the test of maturity together because of the future of our common country, Macedonia. The success will be credited to everyone," Zaev stresses in his address.
According to him, this year's biggest achievement is that 'the captured state was liberated by the freethinking citizens.'
"We faced the challenges and allowed a turning point to happen. A change to happen. Macedonia became stable starting to strive toward growth and development. After a shift of power, the citizens have been vocal in saying they expect a fresh practice and fresh policies in governing the country. It is the main precondition to restore trust in the institutions and in the government as a political instrument," noted the Premier.
The key factor in creating trust, Zaev adds, is to implement the rule of law.
"Rule of law creates safety for every citizen equally, and for the society as a whole. A solid and responsible governance requires also respect of human rights, social justice, public and transparent activities and to make sure that all citizens in the society are fully engaged. Reforms require everyone to be included, for everyone else without exception," says PM Zaev
He underscores the pledge to put focus on the citizen. "It means efforts are going to be made to improve the conditions for living and to strengthen safety. To be safe, it means to be freed from fear, freed from economic uncertainty, or any other type of uncertainty," he states.
As a responsible politician and premier of Macedonia, Zaev says, I strongly oppose the climate in which certain political elites are feeling privileged.
"They thought they wouldn't be affected by justice and the penalty that comes as a result of corruption. We all must contribute on our own to reform and to the new era for which we reached a social consensus: zero tolerance for corruption and zero tolerance for violation of human rights," noted the Macedonian Prime Minister.
According to him, the policies that divided the citizens into 'ours' and 'yours' and that triggered conflicts have come to an end.
"It is a policy that builds a past, thus hampering a future. And, we need trust instead of division. Only an integrated Macedonia, united in its diversity, will be a stable and prosperous country for all citizens. A majority of the citizens believe in this kind of Macedonia. Therefore, we are building a society were everyone is equal," Zaev says.
In 2018, the government will be facing a lot of hard work whose only goal is to ensure peaceful and quality standards for living, according to him.
"Salaries will rise because we have a serious and detailed Economic Growth Plan. It will provide new and better paid jobs. The 2018 budget will enable financial stabilization of the country and growth. We will boost our efforts to implement reforms for democratic reconstruction of the society, to pave the way for professional and politically unbiased institutions offering quality services to everyone," PM Zaev states.
Next year, he adds, we will continue to be friends with all five neighbors and to be leaders in building a new image of the Balkans.
"Finally, we expect Macedonia to become the 30th member of NATO. We expect to be given clean recommendation for start of pre-accession talks with the EU. Brussels is aware that we have strong arguments that support our expectation," Premier Zaev concludes in his New Year's address. ba/13:45
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