“Telma TV editorial policy on sale”

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Public funds are being used to buy media outlets, accused VMRO-DPMNE official Antonio Milososki as the opposition party faces censorship from Telma – a TV station owned by the powerful Makpetrol oil company.

Telma, which ranks among the top five TV stations in viewership and influence, recently canceled an already scheduled interview with opposition leader Hristijan Mickoski and this coincided with a move by the Zaev Government to settle a long standing dispute with Makpetrol, resulting a huge financial windfall for the company.

Telma, whose name is short for TELevision MAkpetrol, is 100 percent owned by the Makpetrol company and is a strongly pro-Government outlet, often dismissing major errors on the part of Zaev while portraying the opposition in a negative light. Why is that? Because Zaev plans to pay 32 million EUR to Makpetrol for the purchase of 50 percent of the gas pipeline which is estimated at 36 million EUR – full price, Milososki said.

Makpetrol is part owner of the only gas pipeline supplying Macedonia with Russian gas through Bulgaria and it entered into a nearly 15 years long dispute with the Government over the ownership. The Zaev regime is about to settle the dispute on favorable terms to the company, and apparently the editorial policy of Telma TV is shifting accordingly.