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Dec 18, 2017 16:45 EEST
SKOPJE (Macedonia), December 18 (SeeNews) – Increasing high-level corruption and a severe lack of media freedom were Macedonia’s major setbacks, a report issued by German foundation for liberal politics Friedrich Naumann Foundation shows.
“Far more than other manifestations of authoritarianism, corruption was a catalyst for public anger that led to street protests, interim government, independent investigations, early elections and subsequent change of the ruling majority in spring 2017,” the Europe Edition of 2017 Freedom Barometer published by the Friedrich Naumann Foundation reads.
Macedonia ranked 21st out of the 30 countries included in the study, which takes into consideration the July 2016 – June 2017 period. The study measures 10 factors relating to political freedom, rule of law and economic freedom.
Macedonia’s media landscape was characterised by strong government pressure on media reporting, high control and self-censorship over state advertising, intimidation of journalists, violent attacks, or alleged imprisonment by security forces, according to the study.
The country also saw a sharp decline in terms of security of property rights compared to the previous edition of the study.
Although property rights in the country are mostly protected, there are many problems within the judiciary, stemming from strong executive influence which can be depicted as state capture. This leads to an environment in which property rights are protected for those with good political connections, and the law is not applied equally, according to the study.
Macedonia showed the most positive results in the area of government spending and freedom to trade internationally.
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