Hungary suspected of helping former Macedonian PM Gruevski escape

Former Macedonian Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski’s escape from his native country to Hungary reads like a political thriller. Even Hungary’s Prime Minister Viktor Orban called the events “an interesting story, exciting, like all crime stories”.

Most of the details are public knowledge: Gruevski was sentenced to two years in prison on corruption charges, and he has been indicted in four other court cases that are still ongoing. But instead of showing up at the prison in the Macedonian capital Skopje on November 10 to begin his sentence, he vanished into the Hungarian embassy in the Albanian capital, Tirana.

A day later, Hungarian diplomats accompanied Gruevski to Hungary via Montenegro and Serbia. He arrived in Hungary on November 12.

What remains unclear, however, is how Gruevski got to Albania. The Macedonian government is finding it difficult to provide answers, which comes as no surprise because whatever they say will not reflect well on Prime Minister Zoran Zaev’s reformist government. Either it lacked the competence to keep tabs on Gruevski, whose intentions to leave the country were no secret, or it tacitly let a convicted criminal go.

To make things worse, the European Parliament is scheduled to survey the situation in Macedonia on November 29, and the Gruevski incident is sure to be on the agenda.

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