US Ambassador Byrnes: Government should be held accountable for corruption

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Reforms are not only necessary for EU aspirations, but are a necessity. Your country is now facing a very serious challenge, especially young people, who are wondering if they have a future here, if they can earn, if they will have opportunities. You have average citizens frustrated by corruption, insufficient reforms and the progress they hoped for, said Kate Marie Byrnes, US Ambassador to Macedonia in a Kanal 5 TV interview, insisting that changes in the judiciary should be made as soon as possible.

“I do think there are some concrete steps that can be taken relatively quickly to show and to demonstrate determination to address these issues. First and foremost, seeing some of these corruption cases that are in the courts now move forward would be a very strong signal, as would Parliament swiftly adopting the national anti-corruption strategy and a meaningful implementation of that strategy,” Byrnes said.

She said that the US invested a lot in the judiciary in Macedonia and that there is still no trust in the independence of the judicial system.

“We have invested a lot in trying to build up the kind of institutions that will ultimately provide confidence in impartial justice. But it takes time and people are frustrated with the length of time it has taken. So I think it is important that there are efforts to accelerate these reforms,” Byrnes added.

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