September 19, 2003


Vienna, 19/09/2003


Mr. Boris Trajkovski
President of the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM)
Fax: +389 2 3112 147

Mr. Branko Crvenkovski
Prime Minister
Fax: + 389 2 3112 561

Mr. Nikola Popovski
President of the Assembly
Fax: +389 2 3113 643

Republic of Macedonia – FYROM
Your Excellency,

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is deeply concerned about the monopoly position of the state-controlled Macedonian news agency MIA (Makedonska Informativna Agencija).

According to information before SEEMO, the state-owned news agency MIA has recently requested the amount of 45 million Macedonian Denar (725 806 Euro) from the Assembly of Macedonia, in order to cover its running expenses. This is an additional amount to the budget that MIA has already received from the state in this year.

In SEEMO’s opinion, the budgetary financing of MIA strengthens its monopoly position and thus threatens the existence of independent and private news agencies on the Macedonian market.

Therefore, SEEMO asks the Macedonian officials to reexamine this procedure of budgetary financing of the state owned agency MIA. We urge you to transform MIA from government-controlled and -owned news agency into independent company, in order to enable fair competition on the information market in the Republic of Macedonia (FYROM).

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,

Oliver Vujovic

SEEMO Secretary General