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Macedonia opposition leader: Premier behind illegal wiretaps

March 2, 2015

SKOPJE, Macedonia (AP) — The leader of Macedonia’s leftist opposition on Monday accused the conservative prime minister of ordering illegal wiretaps of his closest aides: the finance minister and interior minister.

Zoran Zaev, who heads the Social-Democratic Alliance for Macedonia, published excerpts of alleged conversations he says were recorded illegally between Finance Minister Zoran Stavreski and Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska.

In the latest twist in Macedonia’s wiretapping scandal, the two appear to complain about spending cuts ordered by Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski.

Speaking at a news conference later Monday, Stavreski denounced the leak of the conversation, saying it had been edited “with the purpose of creating divisions” within the government.

“Zaev has reiterated the earlier theory that Macedonia’s economy is in collapse and facing bankruptcy,” Stavreski said. “But this time with staged conversations with an aim to give the impression there are divisions within the government’s economic team.”

Zaev has accused Gruevski of illegally wiretapping more than 20,000 people, including politicians, judges, journalists, police, religious leaders and foreign ambassadors. Gruevski has rejected the claims and has accused Zaev of plotting a coup.

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