The relatively well-functioning social
protection network that existed during the Yugoslavian
era has been eroded due to economic problems and is
today completely inadequate.
As long as the former Macedonia was part of the
former Yugoslavia, all Macedonians with employment and
their families were covered by a relatively
well-developed social protection network, including
old-age pension, sickness and unemployment insurance,
parental benefit and child care. It was partly funded by
the wealthier sub-republics. At independence in 1991,
the Republic had to take full responsibility for its
social security system. This has since been eroded due
to financial problems and is now very flawed. Among
other things, the high unemployment rate has made it
difficult for the state to pay unemployment benefits.
Countryaah Official Site:
Official statistics for population in Macedonia, including population growth, density, and estimation in next 50 years.
More than a fifth of the population is considered
poor, but poverty is unevenly distributed. The hardest
hit is the population of some parts of the countryside.
The worst is the situation for the Romans but also for
many Albanians. Poverty itself has given rise to poor
health in many. In 2014, the government introduced tax
relief and debt write-offs for the poorest.
The state-funded health care has received less and
less resources, which has led to the doctors' strike in
protest against low wages and tougher working
conditions. It is common to pay the doctor a little
extra (which not everyone can do) to get better and
faster care. Nevertheless, there have been some
successes in, among other things, child health care
with, for example, extensive vaccination programs.
Northern Macedonia also has the lowest number of HIV
infected in the region. Parts of the healthcare system
have been privatized with good care for anyone who can
afford to pay.
The retirement age has been gradually increased
during the 2000s to 64 years for men and 62 years for
Despite the adoption of an Equal Opportunities Act in
2006, few women are in a leading position, even though
policy has introduced quota provisions. A restrictive
abortion law means that many women are forced into
unsafe illegal abortions. Violence against women in the
home is relatively common. Trafficking in women occurs,
both within, out of and to Northern Macedonia.
The views of LGBTQ people are often prejudiced and
those who work for their rights are at risk of violence
and harassment, both from the public, politicians and
journalists. Through the country, the so-called Balkan
route for smuggling drugs from Asia goes to other
countries in Europe. Organized crime is extensive and
there are many weapons in circulation.
FACTS - SOCIAL CONDITIONS
Proportion of population with access to clean
96.8 percent (2015)
Public expenditure on health care as a
percentage of GDP
6.1 percent (2015)
After two months of protests, more than 12,000 students embark on a major
demonstration against the government's planned new reform of higher education.
According to this, in order to obtain their degree, all students must pass
special examinations organized by the state. The government believes that it
would increase the quality of education, but the students believe that the
reform is contrary to the constitution and threatens the independence of the
universities. The government nevertheless adopts the law and the students
promise new protests.
New outbreaks of violence
In the worst outbreak of ethnic violence in many years, several thousands of
ethnic Albanians clash with police in Skopje in connection with a meeting held
in protest of six Albanians, allegedly "extreme Muslims", sentenced to life
imprisonment for the murder of five Macedonians (see May 2012).
The protesters march towards the court and the riot police respond with tear gas
and water cannons. Twenty police officers and many protesters are injured; about
ten are arrested.
Claws with ethnic signs
In Gjorce Petrov, a suburb of Skopje, two days of ethnic riots erupt after
the murder of a young Macedonian man for whom an ethnic Alban is accused. Dozens
of people are arrested, several police officers injured, cars and shops set on
fire in riots targeting ethnic Albanians. According to human rights groups, the
police use force to restore peace and order in the suburb.
The opposition boycott parliament
When the newly elected parliament is assembled, only 88 of the 123 members
are present. The opposition parties, with the Social Democratic SDSM at the
forefront, boycott the meeting. They believe that the elections in April have
not gone right and require a transitional government pending re-election. The
OSCE, which monitored the elections, says that even if the elections themselves
were conducted without major flaws, the election campaign could be criticized.
Among other things, the media were not impartial and the ruling VMRO-DPMNE mixed
the activities of the state and the party.
Election victory for incumbent president and government
The incumbent President Gjorge Ivanov wins in the second round with 55
percent of the vote, over Social Democrat Stevo Pendarovski. Ivanov won big
already in the first round two weeks earlier, but the turnout was then too low
for the result to count. In today's recent parliamentary elections, a coalition
of parties under VMRO-DPMNE gets 61 out of the 123 seats in parliament, while
the Social Democrats, SDSM, receive 34 seats. BDI and PDSH receive 19 and 7
seats respectively. The government parties VMRO-DPMNE and BDI are thus
strengthened from the election.
New elections are announced
Gruevski announces that parliamentary elections will be held on April 27, at
the same time as a possible second round of elections in the presidential
election. The decision comes when the smaller government partner BDI does not
want to support incumbent President Gjorge Ivanov, who is believed to have fully
supported VMRO-DPMNE's Macedonian-nationalist policy despite being the president
over party politics.
Changes in the electoral law
Parliament adopts amendments to the electoral law before the April
presidential election. Among other things, restrictions are imposed on how much
grants candidates can receive and misuse of public funds in the election
campaigns can lead to imprisonment. The list of lists must also be updated four
times a year. The amendments, which have been debated in Parliament for several
years, are in line with EU standards.