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Macedonia celebrates 20th independence anniversary

08. September 2011. | 17:31

Source: MIA

"20 Years of Statehood - 20 Years of Independent Macedonia - Together Under One Sun" is the motto of a ceremony, which will be held on September 8 in downtown Skopje to mark the 20th anniversary of country's independence.

 The Republic of Macedonia celebrates Thursday its 20th anniversary since the successful referendum, at which Macedonian citizens voted for independent and sovereign state.

A convincing majority exceeding 95 percent of citizens who came out at the referendum on September 8, 1991 responded positively at the referendum question - 'Are you in favor of independent Macedonia with the right of its accession in a future alliance of sovereign Yugoslav states?'

The results from the referendum were preceded by the adopted Declaration for Independence at the first multi party Macedonian Parliament on January 25, 1991.

The will of the people for independent state was confirmed with the declaration for acceptance of the results from the referendum on September 18, 1991 at the Macedonian Parliament.

The next important step in strengthening of the state was the adoption of the Constitution on November 17, 1991, which was supplemented after the 2001 conflict and signing of the Ohrid Framework Agreement.

Republic of Bulgaria was the first country to recognise Macedonia's statehood, followed by Turkey, Slovenia, Croatia, Russia, Bosnia&Herzegovina etc.

The international-legal status of the state was definitely confirmed by an acclamation of the United Nations General Assembly on April 8, 1993, when Macedonia was admitted as the 181st full-fledged UN member. However, due to Greece's opposition and pressure regarding the constitutional name, the UN accession was carried out under interim reference Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia (FYROM). Talks for overcoming of the name dispute are still ongoing under UN auspices.

Macedonia today has already established diplomatic relations with 168 states worldwide and is recognised under its constitutional name by 132 countries, three of which members of the UN Security Council - China, Russian Federation and the USA.

The 20 years of Macedonia's independence did not pass without problems and difficulties. Three-digit inflation at the beginning of the 1990s, the Greek embargo, Kosovo refugee crisis and 2001 conflict were real challenges and threats to a young Macedonian state which hindered her way in accomplishing the strategic goals - strengthening of democracy and integration in Euro-Atlantic structures. In 2005 Macedonia gained EU candidate status. Process of approximation of Macedonian legislation with EU legislation, power decentralisation and defence reforms marked recent years.

Despite meeting all criteria for full-fledged membership in NATO at the Bucharest Summit in April 2008, the Republic of Macedonia received only conditional membership invitation after Greece - due to the name dispute - used the right of veto and blocked the accession.

Macedonia celebrates its 20th anniversary in light of the new report from Brussels on the country's progress on the road to European integration, as well as date for start of EU membership talks.

"20 Years of Statehood – 20 Years of Independent Macedonia – Together Under One Sun"

"20 Years of Statehood - 20 Years of Independent Macedonia - Together Under One Sun" is the motto of a ceremony, which will be held on September 8 in downtown Skopje to mark the 20th anniversary of country's independence.

The program has a cosmopolitan concept and mission to unite the citizens regardless of their political background, ideology, religion and nationality. It will illustrate the past, the present and the future and will depict country’s national landmarks and artistic capacities.

The celebration will start at 18:00 hours outside the Parliament where Speaker Trajko Veljanoski is to present the 1991 Declaration of Independence to the Macedonian Guard. In a ceremonial parade it will be taken to the new Museum of Macedonian Struggle, where it will be displayed by President Gjorge Ivanov at 19:30 hours.

According to the program, thousand children will pass under the Triumphal Arch thus representing the future of Macedonia.

Past historic events will be depicted by Macedonian actors in front of the museum, while the Army will honor Macedonian heroes by firing a salute.

Country's milestone will be celebrated at a main event taking place at square Macedonia, where 300 artists are expected to perform. Following an address by Premier Nikola Gruevski, "Warrior on a Horseback" statue with its grandiose fountain is to be unveiled.

The celebration will be wrapped up with musical event where 90 singers or bands that marked the music history in the past 20 years in the country will perform.

The creative team is led by director Dejan Projkovski, who said at the press conference that the program had been conceived according to the cosmopolitan ideas promoted by revolutionary Goce Delcev (“I understand the world solely as a field for cultural competition among nations”) and the poet Koco Racin (“What though I did not build house, brotherly world is my home”) The main idea is to depict the artistic potential of Macedonia.

Free bus transportation to Skopje is organised in 83 municipalities for all citizens who want to attend the central ceremony.

The celebration of Independence Day will begin by laying flowers on graves of the former PM Nikola Kljusev and the President Boris Trajkovski in Butel cemetery.

Also Kumanovo – Tabanovce road will be opened in the frames of the celebrations. The edition "130 Volumes of Macedonian Literature" translated into English language will be promoted in the Macedonian Academy of Sciences and Arts. Parliament Speaker Trajko Veljanoski will meet chairman and members of the commission for holding of the referendum in 1991.

Macedonia's Independence Day will be marked by various events almost till the end of September. Parliament held session Wednesday, PM Gruevski met with former Prime Ministers and President Gjorge Ivanov addressed Wednesday evening the formal academy.


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12. September - 18. September 2011.