MicNews at 09 am.
These are the highlights of stories in printed media. MIC has not verified these stories and does not vouch for their accuracy.
* Sloboden Pecat
** "Don' set any red lines! Sit together and talk," said Michael Roth, Minister of State for Europe at Germany's Federal Foreign Office, at a debate hosted by the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung in Berlin. Roth said that it was possible for the window of opportunity, which was currently opened, to close.
** A united ethnic Albanian opposition could oust Ali Ahmeti's party from power in the next elections, said Ziadin Sela, leader of the Alliance for Albanians, after meeting with the newly elected leader of the Besa Movement's Skopje wing, Afrim Gashi. Political analyst Petar Arsovski says this not likely to happen. In his opinion, the ethnic Albanian opposition is in a process of disintegration rather than unification.
** The Skopje Fair has cancelled the Furniture Fair event traditionally held every year. Whether any other fair events are held at the old location remains uncertain. The problems began when the Skopje Fair's ownership structure changed in July last year. As of October last year, the Albanian corporation Balfin Group owns the location where fair events used to be held so far.
* Nova Makedonija
** European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker is starting his Western Balkans tour with a visit to Skopje Sunday. He will be accompanied by the EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini. MEPs Ivo Vajgl, Eduard Kukan and Knut Fleckenstein are also expected to visit Macedonia Sunday within the Jean Monnet process.
** The name issue will be tabled by Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras and German Chancellor Angela Merkel at their meeting in Brussels Friday within the informal meeting of the 27 EU member states.
** Prime Minister Zoran Zaev announced staff changes in institutions this spring because of criticisms over a lack of energetic reaction clearly showing zero tolerance to irresponsible and corruptive behavior. These replacements, Zaev said, may lead to a government reshuffle.
** All Gostivar Mayor Arben Taravari's powers as far as naming and discharging principles of primary and secondary schools were suspended Wednesday, said Education Minister Renata Deskoska. Answering a lawmaker's question in Parliament Thursday, Deskoska explained that the local authorities refused to honor the law for a long time. Taravari said the suspension was a "political payback in BDI's favor".
** The paper is presenting statistics trying to draw a comparison between Macedonia and Greece in terms of the size of their population, territory, military, defense budget, workforce, purchase power, etc, and wonders how logical and realistic it is for Greece to see Macedonia as a threat to its national security.
** Public sector institutions will have to enter information on their employees in the computer system for management of human resources within three months or else face the possibility of not being able to pay salaries to their staff. Of a total of 1,303 public sector institutions, 259 have not yet entered any information.
** The project of disassembling Skopje 2014 has begun. The City of Skopje will no longer tolerate illegal activities, said Skopje Mayor Petre Silegov at a press conference Thursday. He said that on the location of the monument to Andon Janev Kjoseto a tree would be planted and a plate would be mounted from the sister city of Nurnberg on which Article 10 of the UN Universal Declaration on Human Rights would be engraved. The monument to Andon Janev Kjoseto, which Silegov said had been illegally put up, was removed the night before.
** In an interview with Die Welt, Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn said the European Commission was going to recommend soon, most probably by the end of the summer, that the EU member states should open membership negotiations with Macedonia and Albania.
** At a press conference he held together with his host, Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, in Belgrade Thursday, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov said Moscow was worried over the EU's indolence to the Tirana Platform and the initiative of creating Greater Albania. "When parliamentary elections were recently held in Macedonia, the speaker of parliament put the Albanian flag in his office - in Macedonia. A few days ago, Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama proudly said he was the initiator of the law in Macedonia's Parliament giving the Albanian language the status of an official language. This violates the Ohrid Agreement that we all received with a relief as it ended the crisis in Macedonia many years ago," Lavrov said.
** Panos Kammenos, Greek Defense Minister of the Independent Greeks political party, said he was going to do everything he could to make sure 'Macedonia's was not part of the compromise name.
** On Thursday, during the meeting at which legislators were asking the Government questions, lawmaker Muhamed Zekiri called for sanctions against the head of the Islamic Religious Community, Sulejman Rexhepi, and Metropolitan Agatangel because the former had a photo of him taken with a machine gun in his hands and the latter used hate speech and incited violence. Deputy Interior Minister Agim Nuhiu said nobody will be above the law and actions in this regard would be taken when all evidence was collected.
** We are working to adopt a free hospital stay law, Prime Minister Zorn Zaev said in response to Amdi Bajram's question of what the Government was going to do to address poverty. Bajram then said that for the first time ever a prime minister answered him properly. 'It turns out you will be a good prime minister for everyone." Bajram used to be part of the VMRO-DPMNE coalition and became an independent MP after the local poll. He is known for always siding with the party in power.
** 48-year-old Vane Lesnoski of Prilep won half a million euros in sports betting, the largest ever win in Macedonia. He entered his tickets on 23 and 24 January and the decisive game was played Wednesday between Seville and Manchester United.
** The Agency for Electronic Communications is going to invest 2.5 million euros, which is 97 percent of the Agency's budget for capital investments, in the construction of the antenna system on Mount Vodno. The Government said a detailed analysis had to be made on how justified implementing this project was.
** Is priceless treasure hiding in the mysterious Alsar mine on Mount Kozuf? The answer to this question is to be given by the geological research done by Info Group. This company has had the concession to conduct research for four years and is currently expecting to have its permit extended for another two years.
** The average salary in December was 23,850 denars and was up 1.7 percent from December 2016, said the State Statistical Office.
** GSOL, the company that signed a contract with FENI on processing ore, paid the October salary to all of FENI's 748 employees.