Original title: Migrants enter whenever and however they want, Spasovski is campaigning!
The portal Republika published a news item on July 9, 2020 with the headline: Migrants enter whenever and however they want, Spasovski is campaigning!
The short article says that a shocking video shows dozens of migrants moving freely at the place “Dvata pata” in Strumica. The portal “Strumica denes” says that the video was sent to the Strumica police and a team was immediately sent to the same place (however, the attached video is not available for review at the time of writing). He further mentions the traffic accident near Valandovo with 4 injured migrants and that more than 200 migrants were found in a truck near Gevgelija.
In the end, he tries to connect these events with the technical Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski, alluding to the fact that he and the government are allegedly not taking any action regarding the migrants.
“Meanwhile, the technical prime minister Oliver Spasovski is campaigning after 4 pm, and is “inspecting” what his SDSM government “has completed” until then”, reads the article in Republika.
The portal published an article attempting to manipulate the public with accusations against the technical Prime Minister Oliver Spasovski. The events for entry and transit of migrants through our country are not new, but now they are given additional emphasis, which creates panic among the citizens. The F2N2 team assesses this article as an attempt at manipulative, subjective and biased reporting, which does not correspond to the Journalism Code.
It is not true that the Government led by the technical Prime Minister Spasovski is committed only to the campaign and nothing is being done about this. Namely, at its 73rd session, the Government adopted the Decision on the existence of a crisis situation on part of the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia due to the increased volume of entry and transit of migrants through the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia.
The existence of the crisis situation determined by this decision will last 30 days from the day of its entry into force, that is from July 2, and thus activates the General Staff of the Crisis Management Center, which will be in permanent session.
With this decision, the Government instructed the General Staff of the Crisis Management Center to prepare an Action Plan for prevention and management of the entry and transit of migrants through the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as a complete overview of available human and material – technical resources and a plan for coordinated action and the state administration bodies to take measures and activities in accordance with the regulations for crisis management.
The General Staff is an operational-expert body at the Crisis Management Center, which manages the activities for prevention and management of crisis situations. The General Staff is composed of representatives of the Ministries of Internal Affairs, Health, Transport and Communications, Defense and Foreign Affairs. Its members are the head of the Emergency Medical Service in Skopje, the director of the Directorate for Protection and Rescue, as well as representatives of the Army, the Intelligence Agency, the Directorate for Security of Classified Information and the Red Cross of the Republic of North Macedonia. The Director of the Crisis Management Center manages the General Staff.
In the tasks, function and goals of the Crisis Management Center it is stated that it is responsible for the coordination of its own and for all other necessary activities with all participants in the crisis management system, provides continuous mutual communication and cooperation for data collection and information, informs and proposes measures for the risks and dangers that may endanger the security of the Republic.
On the other hand, the part of the police border control is in the competence of the Regional Centers for Border Affairs within the Sector for Border Affairs and Migration at the Ministry of Internal Affairs, which is a special organizational form within the Public Security Bureau, which, among other things, is responsible for continuous improvement on the methodology of border security management, fight against cross-border crime, international cooperation and interagency cooperation with other entities in the Integrated Border Management System.
As a reminder, more than a year ago, in February 2019, the Chief of SIA Stip was arrested for smuggling migrants.
All of the stated above clearly indicates that the author’s claim in the title is unfounded, the accusation against Spasovski is unfounded because the Government has taken and is taking appropriate measures, and in the whole process other bodies are also competent.
Narratives about migrants are not new. They appear especially during elections, in order to cause distrust in the institutions of the system and to cause fear and panic among the citizens. The F2N2 team has written about migrants as part of disinformation narratives several times in the past. You can read more about how migrants are used as a disinformation tool in our analysis.
This project was funded in part through a U.S. Embassy grant. The opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed herein are those of the implementers/authors and do not necessarily reflect those of the U.S. Government.