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Balkans

BECAUSE OF GRUEVSKI 21. 11. 2018.   >>  17:09 0

BECAUSE OF GRUEVSKI

Hahn is seeking an explanation from Orban

The European Union has demanded an explanation from Hungary over reports that Budapest granted political asylum to fugitive former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

EU Enlargement Commissioner Johannes Hahn tweeted on November 21 that if Hungary has made a decision to grant Gruevski asylum, he expects a "sound explanation of its grounds" from Prime Minister Viktor Orban.

 

Gruevski, who is close to the populist Hungarian prime minister, fled to Hungary last week after being convicted on corruption charges in Macedonia and sentenced to two years in prison.

 

He said on November 20 that he had been granted asylum from "political persecution" in Macedonia.

 

Skopje has issued an international warrant for his arrest.

 

The EU has voiced increasing concern at measures taken by Orban to put Hungary's justice system under his government's control.

 

"The #RuleofLaw remains a fundamental principle for [EU] Member States and accession candidates alike," Hahn tweeted. "It is crucial for #Europe's credibility. Surprising that #Hungary supports (Macedonian) #EU membership but does not consider it safe."

 

Macedonia has been implementing reforms to ensure the independence and effectiveness of its judicial system as part of its efforts toward eventual EU membership.

 

Gruevski said he received death threats in Macedonia -- an accusation which the government of Prime Minister Zoran Zaev has questioned, saying the former premier was not a victim of political persecution.

 

Gruevski was convicted in May of using a 600,000 euro ($675,000) Mercedes bought with state funds for personal travel.

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