The holidays will pass, because of the prices, fasting will continue

Sonja Kiridzievska
Photo: Dragan Mitrevski / Free Press

The Government's new correction, this time with higher prices for some fruits and vegetables, is just confirmation that the government does not know what it is doing. Now he remembered to clean up with the agricultural mafia, so the festive table of the citizens will be empty even after the end of the fast. The Hunger Games Live!

Interrupted supply chains, empty shelves and counters, shortages of certain food products, a market dependent on the will of importers. These are the consequences of the country's huge import dependence, quite visible after the adventurist-populist measure of freezing food prices. The promises that the standard of the citizens is being protected have fallen into the water. The importers showed their teeth and "caught the Government off guard", so after just one week, it withdrew from the measures it had brought. Starting today, there will be a new correction, this time with higher prices for some fruits and vegetables.

In the meantime, the merchants ransacked the warehouses, the goods "disappeared". At the height of the great fasts for Easter and Eid, the stalls do not have enough beans, lentils, tomatoes, peppers, not even cucumbers. After many years of commotion, the government dared to touch the agricultural mafia, and it retaliated fiercely. The effect is - there is not enough food in Macedonia these days!

Potatoes come from Croatia and Egypt, tomatoes - from Turkey, Greece, Albania, cucumbers - from Albania, the southern one - from Greece and Turkey, beans - from Kyrgyzstan and Egypt, onions - from the Netherlands and Egypt... The list is long. the countries that feed the country. Because Macedonia is no longer an agricultural country. A hundred kilos of beans, some lees with pepper or tomatoes. Macedonian stables and chicken coops are also empty. We planted colleges and photovoltaics on the fields, and the production of apartments in Skopje grew from subsidies in agriculture. There is no one to work the land. Everyone wants to work in administration, even for minimum wage.

The Macedonian countryside and agriculture, which have always been an important foundation for the country, are today facing an abyss. According to the 2021 Census, 58 villages have "disappeared" from the map in less than two decades. There are probably ruins of once beautiful country houses left, but they are empty. As the population ages, the number of villages left without inhabitants will grow. And in those where they are not fully emptied, there are no young people who would work in the fields.

All the previous governments squandered millions in subsidies, but the land that fed us is now depleted and cannot even provide subsistence for a rural household. Production costs have increased, the purchase price cannot cover them, and the "stock market" is quantum markets. Food importing companies make a profit, so we should not be surprised by high prices. Basic groceries are becoming more and more unaffordable for the average citizen.

The lack of domestic production these days brought to the surface another problem that has been known for years, but kept silent. The "green mafia" took advantage of the monopoly position that none of the previous governments tried to control. They were quietly building an empire and now the importers are dictating the prices. The attempt to cut their margins and collect their documentation (read fake invoices) almost ended in failure. Unofficially, the warehouse owners "cleaned up the tracks" in time, that is, the stocks.

After the controls of market, financial and tax inspections in several quantum markets, it will be seen whether the importers of fruits and vegetables evaded tax, which is a crime. If the suspicions that the importers issued false invoices are confirmed, a procedure will be initiated for additional collection and determination of misdemeanor or criminal liability depending on the amount of the evaded duties. The Minister of Economy Kreshnik Bekteshi threatened them that tax evasion worth more than 10.000 euros is a crime.

The government has now remembered to pursue justice to the end, so the citizens' festive stall will remain empty. Partly because there are no imports in the meantime, but even more so because of the high prices of the products. The fast will end, but it seems that it will continue even after the holidays, and that for most of the citizens, not only for the believers. The Hunger Games Live!

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