Nikola Gruevski

Nikola Gruevski
Никола Груевски
Prime Minister of Macedonia
Assumed office
27 August 2006
President Gjorge Ivanov
Preceded by Vlado Bučkovski
Minister of Finance
In office
27 December 1999 – 11 January 2002
Prime Minister Ljubčo Georgievski
Preceded by Boris Stojmenov
Succeeded by Petar Gosev
Personal details
Born 31 August 1970 (age 44)
SkopjeYugoslavia (nowMacedonia)
Political party VMRO-DPMNE
Spouse(s) Borkica Gruevska
Alma mater St Clement of Ohrid University
University of Skopje
Religion Macedonian Orthodoxy

Nikola Gruevski, M.Sc. (MacedonianНикола Груевски [ˈnikɔɫa ˈɡruefski] ( ); born 31 August 1970) is a Macedonianpolitician. He has been the Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia since 27 August 2006, and has led the ruling VMRO-DPMNEparty since May 2003. He was Minister of Finance in the VMRO-DPMNE government led by Ljubčo Georgievski until September 2002.

Personal life[edit]

Born in Skopje in 1970, Gruevski was brought up in a family that was neither privileged nor poor. His father worked in furniture and design and his mother was a nurse. After his parents’ divorce, he was raised by his mother. At the age of four, however, she went to work in Libya, like thousands of other Yugoslav citizens, and took him with her.[1] After their return Gruevski completed primary and secondary education in Skopje. Having graduated from the Faculty of Economics at St. Clement of Ohrid University of Bitola in 1994 (where he dabbled in amateur theatre and boxing) he entered the nascent finance sector, and was the first person to trade on Skopje's stock exchange.[1] In 1996 he also acquired qualifications for the international capital market from a London Securities Institute.[2] On 12 December 2006, he obtained a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Economics at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje.[3] Gruevski founded the Brokerage Association of the Republic of Macedonia in 1998 and made the first transaction on the Macedonian Stock Exchange.[4]

Gruevski divorced his first wife and married again in May 2007 to Borkica Gruevska with whom he has two daughters: Anastasija and Sofija.[5][6]

Gruevski's paternal grandparents stem from the Ottoman village of Krushoradi,[7] where his grandfather Nikola Gruev (1911-1940) was born.[8] Until the official Greek annexation after the Second Balkan War in 1913, it was under the jurisdiction of the Bulgarian Exarchate.[9] The Greek administration later changed the names of the local villagers according to Greek Church regulations.[10] The village itself was renamed by the Greek authorities to Achlada in 1926.[11][8] Grouios fought in the Greco-Italian War, where he lost his life.[1] His name is mentioned on the war memorial in Achlada among the names of the locals who were killed during World War II. Years later, during the Greek Civil War, Gruevski's grandmother and father, like thousands of other Slavs in Greek Macedonia, fled north to what was then the Yugoslav Macedonia,[1] where they changed their family name to Gruevski.[12][13]

Political career[edit]

Minister of Finance[edit]

The government under Ljubčo Georgievski sold the Macedonian Telecom to Hungarian Matáv and the OKTA oil refinery to Hellenic Petroleum. Gruevski also implemented financial reforms, including the value added tax of 18%, requiring fiscal receipts for all Macedonian businesses, which was a program designed to fight tax evasion.

Party leader[edit]

Gruevski is the leader of the nationalist ruling party VMRO-DPMNE. After VMRO-DPMNE was defeated in the 2002 parliamentary election, there was a period of infighting within the party. Gruevski emerged as the pro-EU leader, and was elected as a leader of the party, after Ljubčo Georgievski left the position. The former prime minister set up his own party (VMRO-People's Party), but VMRO-DPMNE retained most of the party's supporters.

Prime Minister[edit]

Nikola Gruevski announcing victory in the2006 parliamentary election on Macedonia Square in Skopje.

The VMRO-DPMNE won the 2006 parliamentary election. On August 25 he constituted the new government. His government has many new faces, mostly in their 30s in key ministries and other positions. In the election Gruevski earned the distinction of becoming the first elected European head of government born in the 1970s. He remains the second youngest head of government in Europe, surpassed only by Montenegrin prime minister Igor Lukšić.[14][15]

In June 2007 Gruevski attended a meeting in Tirana, Albania, along with President of the United States George W. BushPrime Minister of Albania Sali Berisha, and Prime Minister of Croatia Ivo Sanader.[16]

On 1 June 2008, the coalition led by his party VMRO-DPMNE won the 2008 parliamentary election, their second electoral victory in a row, winning more than half of the seats in the parliament.[17] The polling was marred by a number of violent incidents and allegations of fraud in some ethnic Albanian dominated municipalities. He created a government with the ethnic Albanian political partyDemocratic Union for Integration.[18]

On 5 June 2011, the coalition led by his party VMRO-DPMNE won the 2011 parliamentary election, their third electoral victory in a row, winning 56 out of the 123 seats in the parliament. Objections of misuse of state resources, including the blackmail of over one hundred thousand public servants to act as agitators were neglected, and elections were declared valid. Gruevski formed the new government, again in coalition with the Democratic Union for Integration.

On January 6, 2012, Gruevski opened the triumphal arch “Porta Macedonia” in Skopje as a monument to 20th anniversary of Macedonian independence, and admitted that he personally has been the instigator of the Skopje 2014 project.[19][20]

On April 17, 2014, VMRO-DPMNE won the 2014 parliamentary election, providing Gruevski a new term as Prime Minister.