Press release

27.04.2020, Skopje – The Economic Chamber of North-West Macedonia aims to maintain a high level of cooperation with state institutions and highly appreciates the established partnership.

The ECNWM congratulates the work of the Government of the Republic of North Macedonia and all other institutions engaged in the fight against coronavirus pandemic, we estimate that the enactment of the decree on the maintenance of personal protection in the face in order to stop the spread and eradication of infectious disease caused by coronavirus COVID-19 and protection of the population in the period of the state of emergency ,although in principle aimes to protect public health, it is unacceptable to the business community for several reasons:

The obligation under Article 3 of the decree that companies take care of the behavior of citizens in terms of wearing protective masks, is an additional burden that no business can carry, in which case all businesses are endangered, especially micro and small, which are even more endangered at the time of pandemic. In charge of people’s behavior and discipline should be relevant law enforcement agencies, not businesses, i.e. their owners or directors.

The decree in question foresees a fine of 2000 Euros for legal entities and a fine of 500 Euros for the person in charge of the business premises if they act contrary to the provisions of Article 3, thus allowing a consumer without protective equipment to enter their business premises.

This problem is twofold because it restores the previous practice of penalizing companies, which this Government has undertaken to stop and not repeat those practices. And second, the only sectors that are liquid in this period of global crisis are more exposed to possible penalties by various officials who may even potentially abuse their official position.

We also call that in compliance with Article 4 of the decree, the obligation to supervise the implementation of the provisions of this act to fall under the responsibility of the Ministry of Internal Affairs and not on the companies in order to minimize the possibility of punishment of companies which are the only source of income for this state in this period of crisis.

ECNWM will always support initiatives to increase the level of security and increase the level of collective social responsibility however, care must be taken not to do so at the expense or to the detriment of economic entities at least in this period when few economic sectors are profitable and liquid.

We appeal to the relevant institutions that any kind of decision taken, be consulted in advance with business representatives, respectively economic Chambers, in order to ensure the reasonableness of those decisions and the practical implementation of the same, as well as to avoid possible collateral damage that may come as a result of their adoption .

Skopje, 27.04.2020

Information service