Dutch Embassy in Macedonia financing parallel institutions, media

The Dutch Embassy in Macedonia has plans to finance several online news portals in an effort to help create more independent informational sources, more media.

Is this so called 'helping' to create new media project by the Dutch Embassy a direct interference and meddling in Macedonia's internal affairs? Many fear since the Dutch Embassy will finance these news portals, it will have complete control and esnure these 'news portals' work under its guidance and directives. How then would this be considered independent journalism?

These are some of the question numerous Macedonian newspapers had considering the requirements of the embassy in a competition announced for granting financial assistance for new media in the country.

The newspaper "Dnevnik" had a similar question to the Dutch Embassy that was sent as soon the Embassy's announcement of an official grant in the amount of 150,000 to set up new media.

" Given the fact you've developed an opinion that Macedonia has no independent media, which you have tied mainly to financing, would you please explain to us how those who receive the money from you will be independent from you? Or will the money be awarded to projects and individuals that will popularize the gay population in Macedonia and the alleged unfriendliness towards it, or will it go to people who say that the name dispute with Athens is a problem where both sides share the blame equally?"wrote the editor of "Dnevnik" Darko Janevski in a piece entitled "The Netherlands with 150,000 euros will create independent journalism."

Vecer announced in its own editorial that the Dutch Embassy is planning on essentially creating anti-Government media, planning to hire former 'journalists' from the Ramkovski clan who became famous for their misinformation and antiMacedonian rhetoric.

According to Vecer, the Dutch Embasy wants to finance and create a website whose main task will be to list all Macedonian media and who the editors are and their financiers. Such website already exists and this information is available via the Macedonia's State Registrar's website and the UJP. "The Dutch Embassy wants to essentially create parallel structures within Macedonia, have better control of the opposition and impose Brussel's will on Macedonia through pressure from their own 'media' " says "Vecer".

The Dutch Embassy is also responsible for financing and creation of the LGBT organization in Macedonia as well as several NGO's, one of them being "Wake Up" whose leader Artan Grubi was believed to be the lover of the former Dutch Ambassador. Grubi's NGO already created several ethnic disturbances in the capital, including the violent incident on Kale - financed by Dutch money.

The Dutch Embassy finds it hard to understand that each country is different and has its own culture. Therefore no country wishes imposed views, culture or standards by someone else. //Marija Velkovska

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