Public statement: Financial controls as means of political pressure
As noted in a number of previous research studies published by the Institute as well as other sources dedicated to the analysis of hybrid and authoritarian regimes and the mechanisms of state capture they employ, targeted financial controls based on draconic regulation are one of the most common means of pressure against political enemies.
In the past couple of months, which have been marked by a political interregnum, some of the most vocal NGOs of the protest movement that lasted for almost two years have been subject to constant inspections by the Public Revenue Office. The latest EU progress report points to the problem of blurring of state and party as one of the chief mechanisms of state capture in the country. Previous research published by our Institute stressed targeted financial controls based on draconic regulation as one of the most common means of pressure against political enemies. Hence, the inspections that the NGOs are currently facing may also be intended to put pressure on the NGOs which are perceived as political enemies. Until a new Government is in place and starts to implement the chief recommendations of the Priebe report, the presumption that these controls are purely professional and non-partisan is hardly tenable for us. This is further strengthened by the notion that one of the main pillars of the VMRO-DPMNE manifestо from December 17 was the process of “de-sorosization”. Thus, we appeal that the pressure on the NGOs at issue ceases, as it does great damage to the civil society in Macedonia and great disservice to the state, as it gravely damages the country’s record on civil liberties.
The team of ISSHS