When Nikola Gruevski, Hungarian PM Orbán’s friend, fell from power at home, Hungarian companies started to advertise in media connected to the former Macedonian PM’s VMRO-DPMNE party. Meanwhile, it came to light that the companies advertising there did not sell anything in the country, so there is no reasonable explanation why they did so.
In 2017, VMRO-DPMNE lost the general elections, so Kurir, Denesen, Lider, Republika, and other pro-government media lost their main advertisers, the pro-government and state-owned companies. Therefore, some of them had to close, but shortly after, they received help from Hungary, hvg reported.
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Balkaninsight named those companies like the Olivery selling Croatian olive oil, the Skin Delight or the Bonyart web store that started to advertise in Macedonia. Meanwhile, two Hungarian citizens, Péter Schatz and Ágnes Adamik, both known from the pro-Fidesz media, appeared on the Macedonian market. Soon, the
Adamik Media Company became the majority owner of pro-VMRO-DPMNE media companies.
The 100 pc owner of the Adamik Media Company is Ágnes Adamik, while Péter Schatz has the Alfa TV supporting Mr Gruevski.
Balkaninsight and BIRN tried to understand why Olivery, Skin Delight, Bonyart, and other companies started to advertise in Gruevski-supporting media, but they were told only that some “friends” of the owners suggested them doing so. Of course, it is not surprising that Hungarian companies advertise in the Macedonian media. However, Olivery was founded only in 2017, and it realised moderate profits only (less than 10 thousand EUR) in the following years. Therefore,
it is hard to understand why it was worth for them to advertise in the Macedonian media
when their business there was making losses. They sold simple olive oil, but for a much higher price than locals.
Bonyart did not have any export revenue in 2017 and 2018. Skin Delight was founded by a Hungarian businesswoman who lived in Bali (Indonesia) before, and who posted Hungarian advertisements in Macedonia.
As we reported before, Gruevski held office between 2006 and 2016. An arrest warrant was issued on November 12, 2018, after he had failed to start a two-year prison sentence for corruption. He announced on his Facebook page two days later that he was in Budapest and submitted a request for political asylum. Later, it became clear that
Hungarian diplomats helped him escape from Macedonia.
An international arrest warrant was issued in Skopje on the same day, and he announced a week later on his public media page that he had received asylum status in Hungary. Since then, he has been living in Hungary. Interestingly, there will be parliamentary elections in Macedonia in April where governing socialists and the VMRO-DPMNE alliance have equal chances of winning.
Macedonia is not the only country where pro-Fidesz businessman appeared supporting one or another political party.
In Slovenia, some of the media supporting Janez Jansa and his Slovenian Democratic Party is owned by Hungarians, about which resigning PM Marjan Sarec said that competent parliamentary committees should investigate which foreign powers finance which Slovenian media. According to the latest news, Slovenian authorities have already started the process.