The tenth session of the Security Council was held today in the Cabinet of the President “Villa Vodno” which discussed the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic on the territory of the Republic of North Macedonia, as well as the measures and activities taken by the competent institutions.
After the session, President Pendarovski said that a conclusion was reached for the Security Council to propose to the Government to declare a state of crisis on the entire territory of the Republic of North Macedonia for 30 days.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
We held today the 10th session of the Council. All permanent members of the Security Council were present, except the Minister of Interior. Besides the permanent members, at my invitation, given the topic we discussed, the Minister of Health was also present.
We had one item on the agenda; we discussed the current situation with the Covid-19 pandemic.
Minister Filipce informed us about the capacities and resources that are available and that are practically now being used in the health care sector, as well as about the reorganization of the hospitals throughout the country for reception of the increasing number of infected patients and our citizens.
Prime Minister Zaev informed about the overall activity, the policies in other areas aimed at dealing with the pandemic and possible options and scenarios for the coming days and weeks.
Needless to say – we all know that the corona virus situation in our country is extremely serious. The fact that in literally all countries in our surrounding, in the region, throughout Europe and in the world, practically without exception, the situation is also very bad, far worse than the spring peak of infected and dead, does not mean that we should not think about the possibility of introducing new measures or reconsidering the effects of the existing ones in order to restrict the spread of the virus.
Hence, after the exhaustive discussion in which all present members of the Council participated, we came to a conclusion that the Security Council should propose to the Government to declare a state of crisis on the entire territory of the Republic of North Macedonia for 30 days.
Let me explain briefly what that means in relation to what we have now. At the moment, we have declared a state of crisis on the northern and the southern borders due to the illegal crossings of migrants and refugees, and, in those areas, the police and the army work together. Such cooperation, once a state of crisis is declared on the whole territory, will be enabled on exactly the entire territory of the country. Even now, as you know, we announced that a few days ago, the army supports the police and health institutions, but to a limited extent, relying only on the legal basis deriving from the Law on Army Service. After a state of crisis is declared, the Law on Defense and the Law on Crisis Management, in particular, shall provide much wider opportunities for support to the competent institutions, primarily the health sector, by the army.
The second important difference is in the legal possibility for the Government to manage the resources of the state administration bodies, the public enterprises, the municipalities and the City of Skopje, including here the trade companies, or in this case the private health institutions.
I want to clarify, because there were various speculations on this topic over the past two days, that it is not a matter of nationalization of private hospitals, but their possible inclusion and management in the fight against the pandemic, of course to the extent that the Government will assess as necessary. Otherwise, private property is guaranteed by the Constitution and therefore this is not about nationalization or any change of ownership.
Let me clarify one more thing – the introduction of a state of crisis on the entire territory has nothing to do with the so-called curfew and possible introduction of restrictions on the movement of citizens. It is in the competence, first of the Commission for Infectious Diseases, then of the Central Crisis Staff and, of course, of the Government, if it deems it necessary.
And, very briefly, on the competencies regarding the establishment or declaration of a state of crisis, because there were also different views on that in the past day or two – the Government does not propose to the Security Council to declare a state of crisis because we do not have that competence. Instead, the Security Council recommends – proposes; the proposal goes to the Steering Committee of the Crisis Management Center, which then formally submits a proposal to the Government to make a decision at the end of that process, of that procedure, to declare a state of crisis. After such a conclusion of the Council and after the discussions we had at this 10th session, I expect the Government to very quickly declare a state of crisis throughout the territory.