Merita Maksuti, architect and activist of Eco Guerilla, in a conversation with CIVIL Media highlighted that the Jugohrom issue is yet to be solved, and that they will not withdraw from their demands. As to the claims of Jugohrom’s trade union that they are not the biggest polluter, Maksuti replied that by that, they are just confirming the fact that they are and there is relevant evidence for that.
“It is totally unacceptable after 5 years of convincing that they are setting up the filters, or that they will set up the filters, it is unserious for a trade union, exploited by the management of Jugohrom, to give unserious claims...In regards to the data, we can compare them…From 2012 to 2015, when Jugohrom was operating at full steam, PM10 particles were monitored on an annual basis…Tetovo, as the most polluted city in that period dropped to the seventh most polluted city in Macedonia…Jugohrom has to accept that they are the biggest polluter. And I will remind them that they themselves have signed an operational plan with the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning, where they precisely state how many tons of dust they produce daily”, stated Maksuti.
In terms of Eco Guerilla’s specific further steps on solving this problem, Maksuti said that they will continue to be the ones indicating, regardless if it’s about Jugohrom, landfills or another problem that is illegal and not within the framework of the law, and that they will insist for conventions signed with EU to be fully respected, which is also important for Macedonia joining the EU. Maksuti added that they will remain consistent with their goal.
“I think that our greatest success is raising awareness and changing everyday topics into topics that are of interest to the citizens in a healthy and open society”, stated Maksuti.
Regarding the support to the issues that Eco Guerilla deals with, she outlines that investigative journalism is very important, and will help in locating the most important points, such as Jugohrom, to be further investigated and for something to be undertaken.
“Our goal is to inform and educate the citizens to a level for them to be able to react…The institutions, on the other hand, have to start respecting the law, and that would be enough. In Macedonia we have good laws, but their implementation is catastrophic”, said Maksuti.
As to the media and their role in covering environmental topics, Maksuti is satisfied and sees progress, because, as she says, without them they wouldn’t be at the level at which they are, and their role is really important for raising public awareness.
Camera: Dehran Muratov