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MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency - 26/12/2012

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(MENAFN - Saudi Press Agency) As violence transpired outside parliament, Macedonia's ruling coalition passed the 2013 budget Monday allegedly after expelling the opposition, dpa reported.

Opposition legislators accused Prime Minister Nikola Gruevski's authorities of ordering plainclothes police to evict them from the assembly. Journalists were also expelled from the legislature.

They said the ruling coalition ignored some 1,400 amendments the opposition proposed to the draft budget. The opposition and the ruling coalition, as well as their supporters, clashed over the distribution of funds in the budget.

The opposition asked for more welfare funds and less spending on monuments, while government supporters accused their rivals of a blockade that could lead to the hiatus in the payment of wages and pensions.

Branko Crvenkovski, the head of the opposition Social Democratic Alliance of Macedonia (SDSM), told a crowd outside that his party will boycott the parliament and urged supporters to embark on a campaign of civil disobedience, the daily Dnevnik reported online.

Throughout the day, opposition and government supporters maintained a stand-off in front of the parliament, with skirmishes breaking out sporadically.

During the standoff, supporters of the SDSM and of Gruevski's conservative VMRO hurled eggs, rocks and bottles at each other, as police separated the two groups. At least four people were injured, local reports said.

 






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