balkans-investigations

Balkans Investigations

SCOOP was supporting and promoting investigative reporting in the Balkans from 2003 to 2012. This is the archive of some of the supported stories.

Read Three Times, Sign Once!

A woman in Skopje, Macedonia,  suddenly had to pay unexpected charges to the bank in connection with her loan payments. The bank had changed the rules – and even if the woman went to the Organisation for Protection of Customers, there is no chance for modification of the decision. “Our conclusion is that the customers […]

EU Countries Sell Banned Asbestos to Croatia

Asbestos is called “the silent killer”. It has been strictly banned in the EU since 2005 – to produce it, to sell it, to use it. Croatia adopted the same regulations a year later. But since then, asbestos has been imported to Croatia at least 275 times, and most of it came from EU countries. […]

Growing Bank Charges Angers Customers

Macedonian banks generate good incomes, and not just from the interests on the customers’ loans. Commissions and service charges is an increasing factor in the relationship between bank and customer. The banks say that they give clear and concise information on the charges and on their business policies. Macedonians feel that a new charge is […]

Once Private, Always Private for Macedonian Children

Vesa Sejfulli is only nine years old and does not understand, why she after three years in a private school cannot move to a public one. She is too small to suspect that the 1 500 Euros that her family spends to pay per year for her schooling in the International Private School “NOVA” in […]

How to Become a Bulgarian Overnight

Macedonians hold the record for speedy acquisition of Bulgarian passports. They obtain the citizenship within a year at most, which is much less than the time for citizens of other countries. There are not any strict conditions. Only a few documents and a statement about one’s “Bulgarian national awareness”… Before, mediators applied for others, but […]

Learn Mathematics – with (x), but no (y)

In Macedonia, the children’s school books are filled with incorrect information and strange definitions. Both teachers and parents complain, but still nobody has seen any results of a promised revision of the books. The former Minister of Education, Nikola Todorov announced a spectacular revision of more than 200 textbooks in the education system, since he […]

Government Boost Its Image for Public Money

The Macedonian government has used at least 30 million euros on improving its own image, this investigation shows. The current government from the beginning of its mandate has spent the budget money for broadcasting different advertising campaigns, such as “Invest in Macedonia”, “Flat taxes”, “Stop corruption”, “e-Macedonia”, “Wisdom is power, wisdom is strength”, “Play by […]

Where Does the Public’s Money go?

Directors and managers of public companies are under suspicion of misuse of their position. Contrary to the laws they have made public procurements, spent money from the municipality budgets and public companies’ budget, is the conclusion of this Macedonian investigation. The misuse of the public procurements has been recognized by the Anti-Corruption Commission, and it has […]

No Water in the 21 Century

Open the tap to drink or wash your hands – and nothing happens. Shortage of water is a common problem in Macedonia. 50 municipalities have submitted proposals for water supply projects, informs the Ministry of Transport and Communications. But most of them were returned to be re-worked. The Ministry says that they have made a […]

No Friends in High Places – No Job

More than half of Macedonian citizens believe that there is discrimination in their country. They think that discrimination is very or fairly common. The most common ground for discrimination, according to citizens, is party affiliation. 90 per cent think that is a common occurrence. – The main reasons for getting a job I think is […]