The EU Commission has left Macedonia out of the 530 million emergency package set to help countries to combat the Covid pandemic. The Macedonian government did not apply to be part of the fund, citing it didn’t need it.
The Commission’s chief Ursula von der Leyen announced the package on Twitter on Thursday, the group of 19 countries includes EU candidates from the Western Balkans – Albania, Serbia and Montenegro, but not Macedonia.
Macedonia is having a hard time battling the Covid crises, it only has a few thousand donated vaccines and has previously called on NATO for support requesting ventilators.
The Macedonian Secretariat for European Affairs Nikola Dimitrov quickly responded to criticism as to why Macedonia was not induced in the fund;
“timely and quality management of state finances in the health sector as well as the speedy and efficient response by state institutions by securing a large quantity of donations against Covid-19” Dimitrov cited as the reason why the EU Commission didn’t share its emergency fund with Macedonia.
According to Dimitrov, the EU Solidarity Fund came with a condition that would have burdened public financed with 1.5 billion euros or 0.3% of national GDP.
There is no question the the Solidarity Found would have been timely in improving conditions on the ground.
Serbia, a leader in dealing with the Covid crises, whilst also having donated vaccines to Macedonia will receive a part of the fund.
Macedonian health clinics have been in a persistent struggle to provide adequate conditions for the treatment of Covid patients.
Images and video footage from the city hospital in Bitola where Covid patients are treated, shocked the country.