Throughout history, many different people
have left cultural imprints in the area that is today
Northern Macedonia. In the country, for example, there
are medieval Byzantine churches with beautiful frescoes
and old Turkish bath houses, which are now often
converted into art galleries.
In the cultural field, good conditions prevail for
the minority groups, which have their own theater in
Skopje alongside the Macedonian national theater.
Latest population statistics of Macedonia, including religious profiles and major languages spoken as well as population growth rates in next three decades.
Macedonian literature was first established when the
Macedonian was declared as the official language of the
Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia in 1944. The first
Macedonian novel was written in 1952 by poet and author
Slavko Janevski. Among younger writers are Vanja Izova
Veleva, Janko Ninov, Jordan Danilovski and Eftim
Kletnikov. Many of today's writers write everything from
poetry and short stories to essays and children's books,
and also often work as translators and literary critics.
One of the most popular singing artists in the
Balkans was the then Macedonia Toše Proeski, who died in
2007 in a car accident, only 26 years old.
The Macedonians like to dance traditional dances such
as the ring dance concerns, often accompanied
by instruments such as the tap (a large drum)
and the Zurla (wind instrument).
Macedonian art is perhaps best known for its ancient
Byzantine church paintings, but in Skopje there is also
a museum of modern art, where international greats such
as Pablo Picasso are represented but also modern
Macedonian artists such as Dimitar Kondovski and Risto
At the Venice Film Festival in 1994, Milčo Mančevskis
won Before the Rain, the prize falls
as the best film. During the 2000s he made a couple of
films that in various ways raised the infected
relationship with Greece (see Modern history).
Button win for VMRO-DPMNE in parliamentary elections
When the new election is finally implemented, the ruling VMRO-DPMNE receives
just over 38 percent of the vote and the Social Democratic SDSM just under 37
percent. It gives 51 seats against 49. BDI gets 10 seats and the newly formed
Albanian Besa 5.
Earthquake shakes Skopje
An earthquake of magnitude 5.3 hits the metropolitan area. About 50 people
are injured, as are many buildings. Smaller aftershocks follow the days that
follow, causing people to sleep outdoors and keep their children away from
New Election Date
Leading politicians in Macedonia agree that new elections will be held on
December 11. The decision is made after a seven-hour meeting between politicians
and representatives of the US and the EU. It is the third time a date for new
elections has been decided, but the two earlier ones (April 24 and June 5
respectively) were postponed.
22 people are killed, hundreds are damaged and a large number of buildings
are destroyed when a violent rainfall hits the capital Skopje. The authorities
are now accused of poorly maintained sewerage systems.
New agreement between the political parties
With the help of the EU and the US, the four largest political parties manage
to agree on a new attempt to resolve the protracted political crisis in the
country. The new agreement now includes, among other things, a genuine "washing"
of electoral lengths and reforms that will guarantee impartial media reporting.
In general, the agreement is similar to what was concluded a year earlier (see
June / July 2015) but not able to implement.
New government hostile mass protest
In a new mass protest ("Citizens come to demand justice" in the context of
"the colorful revolution"), tens of thousands of protesters are walking the
streets of Skopje with renewed demands on the government to, among other things,
allow the special court for high political crimes (see April 2016)
to continue his business and for President Ivanov to step down.
Medical marijuana is approved
Like other Balkan countries after Croatia, Macedonia approves the use of
marijuana for medical use. Other use or sale / possession of marijuana can
result in up to 10 years in prison.
The President takes back all pardons
Following pressure from both the Macedonian opposition but especially from
the US and the EU, President Ivanov recalls all the pardons from April's
suspected politicians Already ten days earlier he had removed 22 of the 56
suspected politicians from the list of pardons.
Parliament postpones the election
At the request of the Albanian party BDI, the Constitutional Court raises the
question of re-election and concludes that it was against the Constitution to
dissolve Parliament. Following the court's opinion, Parliament will gather and
vote to postpone the parliamentary elections.
In Skopje, around 20,000 Albanians are walking in the streets in protest
against the discrimination they consider themselves to be exposed to in society.
The peaceful demonstration is led by a series of opposition movements aimed at
the government but also against established Albanian political parties. The
demonstration is being held on the anniversary of the events in the city of
Kumanovo, when a dozen Albanians and eight police officers were killed.
The protests resume
After a May Day break and the Orthodox Easter weekend, protesters in "the
colorful revolution" - so-called because the attendees wear colorful T-shirts
and throw color on public buildings - again out on the streets of Skopje but
also in other cities. In the city of Tetovo, both ethnic Macedonians and
Albanians are taking part in the protests, which are also bribed by
government-friendly protesters. At the same time, the EU is seriously calling on
Macedonia's politicians to try to reach a solution to the increasingly political
crisis in the country.
The EU sets up mediation talks
The talks between the political parties that would be held in Vienna under EU
supervision are suspended. The EU declares that it is available but that the
parties must first show that they are serious about wanting to see a democratic
future for Macedonia.
The presidential building is set on fire
Kravaller erupts in the capital Skopje after the president's actions.
Protesters enter the presidential building and set fire to the interior.
The president pardons suspected politicians
The political crisis in Macedonia is exacerbated when President Gjorge Ivanov
in advance lets pardon the more than fifty politicians who risk prosecution for
a series of crimes by the special prosecutor appointed in the fall of 2015 (the
special prosecutor is included in the agreement negotiated by the EU, among
other things to deal with the country's political problems, see July
2015). At a press conference, Ivanov declares that he "only uses his
constitutional right for the good of the country" but the opposition, and the
outside world, condemns the president's decision.
Tear gas and rubber bullets against migrants
At least 300 people are injured, according to Doctors Without Borders, as
Macedonian police use tear gas and rubber bullets against refugees and migrants
who try, but fail, to get through the closed border between Greece and
Macedonia. About 11,000 people are stuck on the Greek side since the border was
closed a month earlier. The incident causes mutual protests from Greece and
Macedonia, respectively: Athens accuses Macedonian police of assault while
Skopje accuses Greek police of having the situation depleted.
Parliament dissolved before the recent election
A majority of the members decide to dissolve Parliament so that new elections
can be held as planned on 5 June. Shortly before, however, the Social Democratic
ministers in the transitional government submit their resignation applications
and party leader Zoran Zaev explains that his party, SDSM, does not intend to
take part in the new elections because all conditions have not been met. This
applies, among other things, to a substantial "washing" of the electoral lengths
and guarantees of impartial media reporting.
The Balkan route is closed
Once the EU and Turkey have reached a draft agreement on the refugee issue
and Slovenia has closed its borders to anyone except those who have valid travel
documents, seek international protection or have humanitarian reasons, Macedonia
is following suit with Croatia and Serbia. This means that the so-called Balkan
route for migrants is closed, and thousands of refugees are at risk of being
trapped in Greece or forced to seek alternative, more dangerous routes into
The choice is postponed
Parliament votes to postpone the elections, until 5 June. The decision comes
after a long debate, since VMRO-DPMNE changed at the last moment. The days
before, when the United States and the EU proposed a postponement of the
election, Gruevski protested loudly. The outside world believes that the
conditions for a free and fair election are lacking.
Ex-ministers are accused of electoral fraud
A special prosecutor points out former Interior Minister Gordana Jankuloska,
Transport Minister Mile Janakieski and Government Secretary-General Kiril
Bozinovski as suspected of forming a special group with the task of organizing
cheating in the parliamentary elections. Five judges and four members of the
electoral commission are also under investigation.
The Prime Minister resigns
According to the agreement negotiated in 2015 with the help of mainly the EU
to solve the political crisis in Macedonia, Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski
submits his resignation application. As the interim head of government until the
parliamentary elections expected in April, the ruling VMRO-DPMNE party will
appoint its secretary general Emil Dimitriev.