Following information that the Ministry of Environment would allocate 170.000 euros for the referendum campaign, we speak with Igor Smilev, activist, advocate for a healthy environment and President of the association Green Power from Veles.
There is no denial from the Ministry of Environment. However, in the meanwhile, the Government decided to provide money for the campaign for the referendum from the current reserves of the State Budget, instead of collecting funds from all the ministries. The total amount for the campaign is 1.3 million euros.
“There is one cruel and desperate paradox related to this grotesque of a referendum. In the most ecologically dirty country, the Ministry of Environment is one of the main financers of the Referendum, which has the smallest budget of all the ministries in the government. This ministry is going to allocate an unbelievable amount of 170.000 euros for this purpose. A country with such a ministry does really have to fear its environmental future. By the way, does anyone even know the name of the Minister of Environment?”, wrote Smilev on his Facebook profile.
But aside from such a decision of the Government, what really is important in this conversation is the attitude of the Government and the Ministry of Environment towards the environment, which is considered as one of the poorest ministries in the country.
“In a normal country this would be an unprecedented event and an event that should deeply disturb all of us. Especially because it concerns a country that is ecologically the most dirties and most unserious, and a country in which the least is invested in ecology. It is even more absurd that the Ministry of Environment is by far the poorest ministry when it comes to finances, out of all the ministries, and it is about the most vital sector.
More specifically, the fulfillment of the criteria in this ministry are in the top three priorities for joining the European Union. Or in translation, that means that to join the EU we need to work at least ten years solely in the field of environment in order to fulfill the conditions for joining the EU, while dealing with nothing else in the meantime. In such circumstances, giving 170.000 euros, if the information is correct, is truly sadism, hypocrisy and agony of the ecology.
I believe that this country should not expect anything in terms of the environmental future. If we ruin the environment in this way, then we have destroyed the three pillars: economic – social- environmental, which is the basis of sustainable development.
To be honest, I am not going into the issue of whether the state bodies, that is, the ministries are responsible for helping a referendum or not, but I do know that it really is a shame and a disgrace for the Ministry of Environment to allocate funds for a referendum in conditions when we have and live in an environmentally devastated country. Endless hypocrisy and insincerity, and I really cannot find another way to express with words what is happening. May all the honest and sincere professionals within the Ministry of Environment forgive me, who at the next press conference will say how they have made thousands of projects. It’s no use when Vodno is being destroyed in front of our own eyes. When the entire environment is being destroyed in front of our own eyes, like the cutting of trees on all mountain massifs throughout Macedonia.
If we cannot prevent all of that with a simple justification that the Ministry of Environment does not have money, then this really is too much. I truly do want them to come out with a denial and will be the happiest if the Ministry of Environment gives zero denars for the referendum”, says Smilev for CIVIL Media.
Camera: Biljana Jordanovska
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