The Director of the State Inspectorate for Markets, Stojko Paunovski has refused to employ 35 politically-appointed individuals close to the ethnic Albanian coalition partner DUI.
Paunovski stated in an interview for Faktor on Wednesday that employment of 35 people has been requested by Artan Grubi, head of the recently created Ministry for the “Political System and Relations Between the Communities.”
Ethnic quotas have been in place in Macedonia since the conflict in 2001 as a means to integrate ethnic Albanians into institutions, however most appointees, ex-fighters or their family members are still unqualified for work and many do not even go to their assigned roles.
Grubi wants the individuals to work as inspectors even though they aren’t qualified for the job, says Paunovski. He also maintains that the ethnic quotas according to the Ohrid Framework Agreement have already been satisfied in the agency he leads.
The same day, Prime Minister Zoran Zaev scolded Paunovski’s remarks in a statement, calling his reaction “loud” and adding that “decisions have to be fulfilled because the people are expecting that of us. He needs to say why he won’t honor the decision.”
According to Paunovski, “the percentage of Albanians in the Inspectorate for Markets is 40%, meaning the quota has been more than satisfied.
I am publicly saying that I am not going to sign off on the request, even at the price of being removed from my position.
I am myself a political appointee for the job and I can be removed from the job by political decision, however, there isn’t a power that will make me sign the document for employment. Someone has to stand up to this behavior,” says Paunovski.
The Ministry of Political System and Relations Between the Communities is considered to be a halfway house for hundreds ethnic Albanians that receive salaries from the state budget but don’t have an active position within a government office due to redundancy, lack of qualifications or both.