SDSM and DUI feud over expected EU infrastructure windfall

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The ruling SDSM and DUI parties have postponed the appointment of managers to some key public companies. Even thought the two parties have announced an agreement as to who gets what, which includes some major swaps in lucrative utilities, the new appointment haven’t been formally approved yet by the Government.

According to TV21, at the heart of the dispute is the public roads company, which was lead by SDSM over the past four years but is now given to DUI. The Albanian language TV station reports that SDSM doesn’t want to give this company up as it is expecting major investments in infrastructure funds from the European Union, and wants to have its own manager to steer the money. The package SDSM is hoping on could reach a billion EUR.

In exchange, DUI have SDSM the control over the Macedonian Post Office. The company is losing funds but is a potentially great source of employment for party supporters. But with the collapse of the Eurostandard Bank, which exclusively managed payments through post office branches, the Government is planning to sell the Post Office. This could mean loss of access, but also a potentially very lucrative one-off deal for whoever is in position to approve the sale.

Weare finalizing our talks and I believe we will have agreement soon. There will be no changes in the announced positions, said First Deputy Prime Minister Artan Grubi when asked about the delay in these appointments.

DUI is also taking over the MEPSO energy transportation utility, the M-NAV flight control company and the drug agency. SDSM keeps the customs, the ELEM energy producing company and the UIP tax authority.