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TITLE:  MACEDONIA HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                           
DATE:  JANUARY 31, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE

                          MACEDONIA*


Macedonia, which became independent following the breakup of 
the former Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia, is a 
parliamentary democracy.  The Parliament was elected in free 
and fair elections in 1990 and voted for Kiro Gligorov as 
President in January 1991.  The Government, a broad-based 
coalition of Social Democrats, Socialists, Liberals, and ethnic 
Albanians completed a year in power in September 1993.  In 
August Parliament began consideration of new electoral laws, 
including a proposal for direct, popular election of the 
president.  Divisions, even within the coalition, however, have 
delayed action on this and other important pieces of 
legislation.  New elections are scheduled for November 1994 at 
the latest.

The Ministry of Interior oversees a security apparatus, 
including uniformed police, border police, and the domestic and 
foreign intelligence services.  By law, the Ministry is under 
the control of a civilian minister and the civilian 
Government.  A standing parliamentary commission oversees 
operations.  Charges of excessive use of force in connection 
with the handling of an early 1993 demonstration and public 
disturbances in late 1992 led to a formal parliamentary review 
and debate.    

Historically, Macedonia was the poorest of the former Yugoslav 
republics.  Its economy, based on agriculture, mining, and 
light industry, was closely tied to those of the other 
republics, especially Serbia.  Conflict in the region and the 
imposition of international sanctions against Serbia/
Montenegro, coupled with dislocations caused by the transition 
to a market economy, have severely disrupted the economy.  
Unemployment stands at approximately 36 percent, production has 
fallen some 50 percent, and the Government estimates the cost 
of sanctions to the Macedonian economy at $1.8 billion.

Fundamental human rights are provided for in the Constitution 
and are generally respected, but there continue to be credible 
reports of police abuse of detainees and prisoners.  

               
* Macedonia has proclaimed independent statehood but has not 
been formally recognized by the United States as a state.  
There has been a dispute regarding the name under which it 
should be recognized.  We use "Macedonia" in this report 
informally for convenience; its use is not intended to have 
international or diplomatic significance.  

Minorities, including Albanians, Turks, and Serbs, have raised 
various credible allegations of human rights infringements and 
discrimination at the hands of the ethnic Macedonian 
population.  Ethnic Macedonians predominate beyond their 
apparent percentage of the population in civil administration, 
education, the court system, the armed forces, and police.  

Ethnic Albanians, who dispute official 1991 census figures that 
credit them with 22 percent of the population, claim to 
constitute at least one-third of the population.  They hold far 
fewer than 10 percent of positions in government employment and 
are particularly underrepresented at senior levels.  They also 
charge economic discrimination and incommensurate political 
rights, particularly inadequate representation in local 
administration.  They continue to demand increased 
Albanian-language instruction, greater representation in public 
sector jobs, and enhanced media access.  In a positive 
development, the Government reached agreement with 
representatives of the Serbian community on similar issues.  
Due to change in the leadership of the Serbian community, that 
agreement has been called into question.

A striking example of interethnic tension occurred in a 
February clash between ethnic Macedonians and Bosnian Muslim 
refugees at a camp in Skopje in which a number of people were 
injured (see Section 5).  In June the Council for Interethnic 
Relations was established.  The Constitution assigns the 
Council a broad range of responsibilities, including appraisal 
of interethnic issues and recommendations of solutions, which 
the Parliament is obliged to consider for implementation.  

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of political killings during 1993.  An 
Albanian national implicated in the "All-Albanian Army" 
conspiracy, died while undergoing interrogation.  Although the 
autopsy reported the cause of death as a heart attack, credible 
persistent rumors circulated that the heart attack may have 
been caused by the stress associated with a beating.  A 
parliamentary commission that investigated the November 1992 
riot in Skopje exonerated the police involved.


     b.  Disappearance

There were no reported disappearances in 1993.  

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

The Constitution prohibits such treatment and punishment.  
Early in the year, a number of ethnic Albanian prisoners 
claimed mistreatment was occurring at the Idrizovo prison near 
Skopje.  The monitoring mission of the Conference on Security 
and Cooperation in Europe (CSCE) investigated, and conditions 
improved.  Informed independent sources describe prison 
mistreatment as rare.  Government sources stated that 37 cases 
brought against police officers for exceeding their authority 
resulted in disciplinary action; 28 officers were fined and 9 
were dismissed.

One of the ethnic Albanians arrested for alleged involvement in 
a separatist plot claimed he was mistreated at first but not 
after being transferred to Skopje.

On New Year's Day, ethnic Serbs clashed with Macedonian police 
in a village with a Serbian majority, and Serbs charged that 
police used excessive force.  Macedonian authorities alleged 
that a Serbian guard had provoked the police by hurling stones.

The indigenous Forum for Human Rights successfully intervened 
with the Government to obtain separate detention for juvenile 
offenders after receiving reports that juvenile detainees were 
raped by adult inmates.  

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

There were no confirmed reports of arbitrary arrest in 1993.  
Some ethnic Albanians continued to report instances of 
unprovoked harassment such as the June 25 detention of a number 
of Albanians for approximately 4 hours.  Police explained the 
incident as a "sweep" for unregistered and illegal devices in 
an apartment building.  There appears to be little or no 
systematic use of detention as a form of nonjudicial 
punishment.  Incommunicado detention is not practiced in 
Macedonia.

The Constitution states that a person must be arraigned in 
court within 24 hours of arrest and sets the maximum duration 
of detention pending trial at 90 days.  The accused must be 
informed of his or her legal rights and of the reasons for 
arrest and detention.  The accused is entitled to contact a 
lawyer at the time of arrest and to have a lawyer present 
during police and court proceedings.  The Constitution also 
provides that a person illegally detained has the right to 
compensation.  Judges issue warrants at the request of 
prosecutors.  Practice generally appears to conform to the 
law.  Exile, internal or external, is not used as a form of 
punishment.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

Constitutionally, the courts are "autonomous and independent."  
The court system is three-tiered:  municipal, district, and the 
Supreme Court.  The Constitutional Court deals exclusively with 
matters of constitutional interpretation.  Although some 
progress has been made in establishing the system envisioned 
under the Constitution, parliamentary deadlock has stalled the 
election of new judges and the implementation of the proposed 
system.  As such, the mandates of most, if not all, of the 
country's judges, who were appointed prior to independence, 
expired in 1992.  Judges continued to exercise their judicial 
authority pending legislative action on the judicial reform 
program.

There were no known trials on purely political charges in 1993, 
and no political prisoners are known to be held.  The 
Government said that the 10 political prisoners noted in the 
Department of State's report for 1992 were released with a 
finding that they had been improperly incarcerated.

The Constitutional Court has a mandate to protect the human 
rights of citizens, but it has not yet taken any action in this 
area.  Parliament has not passed the necessary implementing law 
to establish a people's ombudsman to defend citizens' 
constitutional and legal rights.

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 
         Correspondence

The right to privacy of person, home, and correspondence is 
provided in the Constitution.  Although no instances of abuse 
were substantiated, officials of the Internal Macedonian 
Revolutionary Organization (VMRO) opposition party charged that 
their telephones were tapped and the privacy of communications 
not respected.


Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Constitution forbids censorship and guarantees freedom of 
speech, public access, public information, and freedom to 
establish institutions for public information.  These freedoms 
are generally respected.

There are several daily newspapers in Skopje and numerous 
weekly political and other publications.  An Albanian and a 
Turkish newspaper are also published nationally and are 
directly subsidized by the Government.  Other cities publish 
their own dailies or have them printed in Skopje.  Some critics 
complain that the Government, through the powerful national 
daily Nova Makedonija and affiliates, monopolizes local press 
coverage.  The Government's ability to present its views 
through this influential medium has led to the criticism that 
it manages the news.  Nove Makedonija receives income from its 
near monopoly on printing, rental space, and kiosks.  

Macedonian Radio-Television (MRT) in Skopje, which is state 
owned, transmits programs in the Macedonian, Rom, Turkish, 
Albanian, Serbian, and Vlach languages.  There are currently 
three television and four radio stations under MRT's control.  
In addition, there are several private radio and television 
broadcasters throughout the country.  Towards the end of the 
year, a private radio station with an all-Albanian format 
reportedly began broadcasting in Skopje.  The Albanian minority 
has complained of insufficient Albanian-language broadcasting 
on state television, only some 5 hours per week.  VMRO 
complained of unequal access to the media.  However, several 
journalists claimed that VMRO does not understand that a free 
press has editorial freedom.

There are no legal barriers to setting up independent media 
outlets, although the country's difficult economic conditions 
and the coalition's inability to pass required legislation to 
facilitate the move to a market economy complicate such 
initiatives.

Foreign books and publications are freely available, 
principally in larger cities.  Academic freedom appeared to be 
respected despite the fact that the university relied upon the 
Government for funding.  Reportedly, there was no government 
interference with professorial latitude in research or 
publishing.


     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The Constitution provides for these rights.  Groups and 
political parties may not advocate the forcible overthrow of 
the constitutional order, encourage the commission of military 
aggression, or promote national, racial, or religious hatred or 
intolerance.  Advance notification for an assembly is required 
to ensure adequate security, but such provisions do not appear 
to have been abused.

Political parties and nongovernmental organizations are 
required to register with the Interior Ministry in compliance 
with a comprehensive political party registration law.  Over 50 
political parties and associations are registered, including 
two major ethnic Albanian political parties, a political party 
of Serbs, and a pro-Bulgarian party.  An ethnic Albanian party 
was denied registration.  Although the denial was supposedly 
based on the similarity of its proposed name to that of an 
existing entity and because it was not an indigenous 
organization, critics charged the denial constituted 
harassment.  In October the Ministry of Interior announced 
plans to seek the deregistration of two parties for advocating 
the "forcible change of the constitutional order and/or 
promoting ethnic or religious intolerance."  One of the parties 
involved opposes independence and supports reintegration with 
Yugoslavia.  The other allegedly espouses the establishment of 
a fundamentalist Islamic state.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

Freedom of religion is guaranteed, and there is no governmental 
interference with the practice of religion.  The dominant 
faiths are Eastern Orthodox and Muslim, but many others are 
active.  Although the Macedonian Orthodox Church is 
specifically named in the Constitution, it does not enjoy any 
special legal status.  That church and all other religious 
communities and groups are separate from the State and equal 
under the law.  They are free to establish religious schools 
and social and philanthropic organizations.  

There is some sense among non-Orthodox believers that the 
Orthodox Church  benefits informally from its position as first 
among equals.  According to some observers, it appears easier 
for the Orthodox than for the others to obtain prime property 
for construction and building permits.  In a positive 
development, the "agreed minutes" negotiated between the 
Government and representatives of the ethnic Serbian community 
provided for treatment for the Serbian Orthodox Church equal to 
with accorded to other faiths.  Relations between the 
Macedonian and Serbian Orthodox Churches were badly strained 
because the latter does not recognize either Macedonia's 
independence or the separateness of the Macedonian Orthodox 
Church.

The Muslim community continued to complain over the placement 
of crosses on the facades of public buildings in some towns, as 
well as to criticize the reproduction on the national currency 
of cultural monuments, such as churches with crosses.   The 
currency also portrays monuments from the period of Ottoman 
rule on some denominations.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

Citizens are permitted free movement within the country as well 
as the right to leave and return.  These rights may be 
restricted for security, public health, and safety reasons.

In August the Government began requiring citizens of 
Serbia/Montenegro to show a passport when seeking to enter 
Macedonia.  Previously, citizens of both countries could cross 
the border on the basis of identity cards.  Ethnic Albanians 
criticized this change, claiming that the group most seriously 
affected are Albanians from Kosovo, already pressured and 
isolated within Serbia.  Consequently, they considered it 
discriminatory.  The Government suggested it would consider 
special arrangements to accommodate inhabitants of immediate 
border areas, which would require the cooperation of the 
Serbian authorities.

Macedonia has accepted a number of refugees from the crisis in 
Bosnia.  Since the summer of 1992, however, the Government has 
restricted the entry of additional refugees, and it is openly 
concerned that a rising refugee flow from Kosovo, in the event 
of a crisis in that region, could destroy Macedonia's ethnic 
identity and its fragile economy.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

The citizens of Macedonia chose their Government in 1990 by 
secret ballot in free, fair, multiparty, and multicandidate 
elections.  The parliamentary term is 4 years.  The 
Constitution allows citizens who are at least 18 years of age 
to vote.  There are no formal restrictions on the participation 
of women in political activities.  Approximately 3 percent of 
the seats in Parliament are held by women.  Although two women 
serve as ministers in the coalition Government, most of the 
senior government and party positions are held by men.  
Albanians participated in the 1992 elections, and the major 
ethnic Albanian political party is a member of the ruling 
coalition.  They hold about 20 percent of parliamentary seats 
and have one deputy Prime Minister, a minister without 
portfolio, and three ministerial posts in the Government.  

A unicameral parliament of 120 members, called the Assembly, 
governs the country.  The Prime Minister, who is the Head of 
Government, is the candidate of the party or parties that are 
in the majority in the Assembly.  The Prime Minister and the 
other ministers do not have to be members of the Assembly.  The 
Prime Minister is appointed by the President and confirmed by 
the Assembly.  The Constitution provides for legislation by 
initiative and referendum.  Although the Assembly elected the 
sitting President, current legislative proposals, when enacted, 
will result in direct popular election of the Head of State.  
In addition to being the Head of State, the President is also 
the chairman of the Security Council and the commander in chief 
of the armed forces.

The Government, formed in September 1992, is a broad-based 
coalition that unites the Social Democratic Alliance, the 
Liberal Party, the Party for Democratic Prosperity (Albanian), 
and a number of other small parties.  The Prime Minister, 
Branko Crvenkovski, is a member of the Social Democratic 
Alliance.

The main political party of the Roma is the Party for the 
Complete Emancipation of Romanies in Macedonia (PSERM), which 
claims 36,000 members and has local branches throughout the 
country.  Its president is also a member of the Macedonian 
Parliament, representing the predominantly Romany town of Suto 
Orizari, located on the outskirts of Skopje.  PSERM was 
instrumental in securing rights for the Roma and successfully 
campaigned for Romany-language instruction in elementary 
schools, the establishment of Romany studies at the university, 
and daily television and radio news and current affairs 
programs in Romany.  


Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

Human rights groups and ethnic community representatives meet 
frequently with foreign representatives without government 
interference.  The Forum for Human Rights was established in 
1990 by a group predominantly made up of academics to propagate 
a culture of respect for human rights.  While their effort is 
primarily educational, they work with the Government and 
institutions to improve protection of human rights.  

The Government did not oppose visits or investigations by 
international human rights groups.  It has cooperated fully 
with the CSCE "spillover" monitor mission operating in Skopje.  
The mediator on ethnic groups of the International Conference 
on the Former Yugoslavia visited Macedonia frequently to 
negotiate "agreed minutes" between the Serbs and the Government 
and between the Albanians and the Government.  

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

     Women

Women possess the same legal rights as men.  Little is known of 
the extent to which violence against women, including domestic 
violence, occurs.  Macedonian society, both in the Christian 
and Muslim communities, is traditionally patriarchal, and the 
advancement of women into nontraditional roles is still 
limited.  In 1993 a few fledgling women's advocacy or support 
groups began to organize.  

     Children

Macedonia's commitment to children's rights and welfare is 
limited by its resources.  The State does have social welfare 
programs to support children, but the current economic crisis 
brought on by the sanctions against Serbia have rendered many 
inoperative.  For example, allowances to parents whose 
employers have gone bankrupt are at least 5 months in arrears.  
Despite the State's financial limitations, it undertook a 
children's vaccination program in the spring of 1993 that 
reportedly covered at least 95 percent of the country's 
children.  There is no pattern of societal abuse against 
children.  


     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

The population of about 2.2 million is composed of a variety of 
national and ethnic groups--Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, 
Romas (Gypsies), Serbs, Greeks, and Vlachs (Aromanians).  All 
citizens are equal under the law.  The Constitution provides 
for the protection of the ethnic, cultural, linguistic, and 
religious identity of minorities.  However, ethnic tension and 
suspicion are evident within the population, and popular 
prejudices exist.  The Government appears committed to a policy 
of trying to address nationality concerns without provoking an 
extremist, nationalist backlash.

Representatives of the Albanian community are the most vocal in 
alleging discrimination.  Expressing concern about 
undercounting, the Albanian community refused to participate in 
the 1991 census.  As a result, there are no authoritative 
figures on its percentage of the population.  According to the 
1981 census, Macedonians comprised 67 percent of the 
population, Albanians 20 percent, Turks 5 percent, and Serbs 2 
percent.  Most observers estimate that Albanians now account 
for at least 30 percent of the population, while some Albanians 
claim 40 percent.  

Albanians also boycotted the 1991 independence referendum 
because of objections to several articles in the Constitution, 
which referred to them as a minority rather than as a separate 
national group.  Much of the Macedonian population considers 
the Albanian desire to be recognized as a nation responsible 
for its own affairs, rather than as a minority, as an assault 
on the unitary nature of the State and a step toward secession.

Albanians point out that there is a minimum amount of 
Albanian-language broadcasts on state radio and television, 
some 5 hours per week of television broadcasts.  They contend 
there is inadequate schooling in the Albanian language and 
charge patterns of employment discrimination.  Albanian 
advocacy groups and political parties have specifically charged 
that Albanians are underrepresented in both the military and 
the police forces.

The Government has acknowledged underrepresentation in the 
military and police, and the Ministries of Defense and Interior 
have instituted moderate measures to respond to the imbalance, 
including special competitions for midlevel positions open only 
to members of ethnic minorities and quotas for the induction of 
ethnic minorities into the military college and the police 
academy.  Following the most recent conscription, the army, 
some 16,000 troops, is now 26.5-percent Albanian, and the 
police, 7,000 strong, are to reach 15 percent within 2 years, 
according to the Minister of Interior.  

The State defends its record on access to television time.  It 
notes that one of the state-owned stations broadcasts 
international programming which is either in English, French, 
or German.  The remaining stations carry programming not only 
in Macedonian and Albanian but also in the languages of other 
ethnic groups.  On the question of Albanian education, the 
State notes that primary and secondary education are provided, 
as well as Albanian-language courses at the college level to 
prepare primary and secondary schoolteachers.

Ethnic Turks, who comprise almost 5 percent of the population, 
have complained of governmental, societal, and cultural 
discrimination.  Their main complaints concern insufficient 
Turkish-language education, exclusion from Macedonian political 
life, inadequate media access, and incommensurate representation
in the state bureaucracy.  For instance, they cited an 
inability to obtain primary and secondary education in Turkish 
for their children, but in many cases the children did not 
speak Turkish.  The State has refused to offer instruction in a 
language the children do not speak.  Citizens have begun to 
teach their children Turkish in the hopes of reversing the 
decision.

In the past Serbs, who comprise 2 percent of the population, 
have also complained of discrimination.  The constitution at 
the time of independence enumerated only substantial minority 
groups.  Sespite the fact that Serbian minority rights have 
generally been observed, Serbs have demanded explicit 
constitutional recognition as a guarantee that they would have 
equal minority rights.  An August 27 agreement between the 
Government and the ethnic Serbian community provided the latter 
equal rights with other minorities and specified an 18-month 
time frame for amending the Constitution.  After Serbia/
Montenegro criticized the agreement, a new Serbian leadership 
emerged and abrogated the agreement.

Popularly held prejudices were manifested in mid-February 
during a demonstration in the Gjorche Petrov suburb of Skopje 
against the construction of a refugee camp for Bosnian Muslims 
in the neighborhood.  Police intervened to disperse 
demonstrators, and in the ensuing Macedonian-Bosnian Muslim 
melee 14 people, including 8 policemen, were injured.  
Parliament investigated police actions in the incident and 
exonerated the police of wrongdoing.

Roma comprise at least 3 percent of the population. and some 
estimates put their percentage as high as 10.  President 
Gligorov has repeatedly and explicitly recognized Roma as full 
and equal citizens.  There is a commendable lack of tension 
between the Romany population and the majority of Macedonian 
Slavs.  There has been progress on concrete issues.  For 
instance, educational issues are the paramount concern of the 
Roma in Macedonia, and there are frequent contacts and open 
communication between the Romany community and the Ministry of 
Education.  A Romany primer has been prepared and will be 
printed shortly for use in schools.  The Ministry and leading 
Romany educational experts have prepared a Romany educational 
program that would reportedly include 2 hours a week of 
instruction in the Romany language in grades one through 
eight.  It is awaiting government approval.  A 40,000-word 
Macedonian-Romany dictionary is under preparation, using the 
most widely spoken of the three main Romany dialects in the 
country.  MRT provides some daily programming in the Romany 
language, offering instruction, news, and music.

The 13-member Council on Interethnic Relations, established in 
1992 in accordance with the Constitution, is comprised of the 
President of the Assembly and two representatives each from six 
national and ethnic groups (Macedonians, Albanians, Turks, 
Serbs, Roma, and Vlach).  The Council has not yet, however, 
demonstrated an ability to engage itself usefully in resolving 
ethnic conflicts.  

     People with Disabilities

Social programs to meet the needs of the disabled exist in 
Macedonia to the extent that government resources allow.  
Discrimination on the basis of disability is illegal.  So far 
as is known, there is no law or regulation mandating 
accessibility for disabled persons.  

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The 1991 Constitution guarantees citizens the right to form 
trade unions.  There are restrictions on that right for 
military personnel, police, and government workers.  However, 
the Government still has not enacted the required laws to 
implement the constitutional guarantees.

The Council of Trade Unions of Macedonia (SSSM) is the labor 
confederation that is the successor organization to the old 
Communist labor confederation.  It continues to maintain the 
assets of the Communist group and remains the Government's main 
negotiating partner.  An active observer of labor issues has 
termed it "independent of the Government and not associated 
with any party."  The Union of Independent and Autonomous Trade 
Unions was formed in 1992.  Perhaps as much as 80 percent of 
Macedonia's work force is unionized, though this situation is a 
result of the recent Socialist past.  The absence of the 
necessary legal framework, combined with difficult economic 
conditions, have restricted labor activism.

The Constitution guarantees the right to strike.  Strikes were 
common in 1993 because of difficult economic conditions as a 
result of the collapse of markets and limitations on access to 
raw materials, further aggravated by the strengthening of 
international sanctions against Serbia.  During 1993 only one 
strike was declared illegal, and that action is to be 
challenged in the courts.

Trade unions are free to join international trade union 
organizations.  

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The Constitution implicitly recognizes employees' right to 
bargain collectively.  Collective bargaining, however, is still 
in its formative stages.  Formerly, public employee official 
unions, which encompassed the majority of unionized workers, 
established so-called collective agreements with the 
Government, which set minimum wages and various other 
standards.  How this system is to be amended is still not 
resolved.  As such, collective agreements are still common, and 
they have virtually the status of law.  Parliament has not yet 
approved legislation defining collective bargaining rights or 
prohibiting antiunion discrimination, but in practice, such 
discrimination has not been observed.

There are no export processing zones.


     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Legal prohibitions against forced labor are effectively 
enforced by the Ministries of Interior and Labor.  

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

The constitutional minimum age for employment of children is 
15.  Younger children, however, are often observed peddling 
items such as cigarettes, especially in the capital.  Children 
may not legally work nights nor earn more leave than adults.  
They are permitted to work 42-hour weeks.  Education is 
compulsory through grade eight.  The ministries of labor and 
interior are responsible for enforcing laws regulating the 
employment of children.  

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

The minimum wage, set in March, is approximately $50 (denars 
1,500) per month.  Negotiations involving the Government, 
employers, and labor organizations to increase this figure were 
under way in 1993, but agreement is proving elusive due in part 
to the serious economic conditions facing the country.  Unions 
demanded an increase to $67 (denars 2,000).  By law, in light 
of the fact that the average wage in July was denars 3,837, it 
should be raised to $76 (denars 2,302).  Even if raised to the 
latter figure, however, the cost of living far exceeds the 
minimum wage.

Yugoslavia had extensive laws concerning acceptable conditions 
of work, including an official 42-hour workweek with a 24-hour 
rest period and generous vacation and sick leave benefits.  
Macedonia adopted many of these provisions, including 
specifically the workweek and rest period.  

The Constitution guarantees safe working conditions, temporary 
disability compensation, and leave benefits.  Although 
Macedonia has laws and regulations on worker safety remaining 
from the Yugoslav era, credible reports suggest they are not 
strictly enforced.  The Ministry of Labor and Social Welfare is 
responsible for enforcing regulations pertaining to working 
conditions.



[end of document]

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