Government buys 240,000 new passports as name change looms


Macedonia’s Interior Ministry ordered 240.000 blank passports, raising questions whether these are needed as for the new name now just days away from a final vote in Parliament. The Ministry refused to respond to queries under what name are the passports which are currently sitting in customs.

We inform the public that we have enough blank passports on stock and there will be no problems with issuing new or renewed passports, the Ministry said on Friday.

Alfa TV reports that it tried to get answers from the Government, but its PR service forwarded all questions to the Interior Ministry. Some media outlets reported that the passports are under the name Republic of Macedonia, indicating that they would be in use for a long time before any name change, if approved, takes effect.

Even if the constitutional amendments are adopted on January 15th, it will take a while to change all procedures and regulations, and to have them take effect, the Ministry said, implying that the name change will be a protracted process.

However, if we learned one thing over the past year is to take any statement from Zaev’s Government with a great deal of caution. Frequently their statements are disproved not days, but often just minutes after they are said.