Nikola Gruevski (Macedonian: Никола Груевски [ˈnikɔla ˈɡruevski] ( listen); born 31 August 1970 in Skopje) has been Prime Minister of the Republic of Macedonia since 27 August 2006. He has led VMRO-DPMNE since May 2003. He was Minister of Finance in the VMRO-DPMNE government led by Ljubčo Georgievski until September 2002.
Born 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, his mother brought him up. When he was four, she went to work in Libya, like thousands of other Yugoslav citizens, and took him with her. After their return Gruevski completed primary and secondary education in Skopje. After having graduated from the Faculty of Economics at St. Clement of Ohrid University of Bitola in 1994, he worked in the banking sector. In 1996 he also acquired some qualifications for the international capital market from a London Securities Institute. On 12 December 2006, he obtained a Master’s degree from the Faculty of Economics at Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje. Gruevski founded the Brokerage Association of the Republic of Macedonia in 1998 as its president and made the first transaction at the Macedonian Stock Exchange.
Gruevski divorced his first wife and married again in May 2007 to Borkica Gruevska with whom he has two daughters: Anastasija and Sofija.
Gruevski has family roots in Macedonia, Greece. His paternal grandparents stem from Krousorati, renamed by Greek authorities to Achlada in 1926 (Greek: Αχλάδα), a village in the Florina regional unit, Greece, where his family went by the surname Grouios ("Γρούϊος"). His grandfather, Νικόλαος Γρούιος, (Nicholaos Grouios), was mobilized by the Greek Army during the Second World War and fought in the Greco-Italian War where he lost his life in 1940 and his name is mentioned on the war memorial in Achlada among the names of the locals who were killed during World War II. Some years later, during the Greek Civil War, Gruevski's grandmother and father emigrated to the Socialist Republic of Macedonia where they altered their name with the local authorities to Gruevski.
Minister of Finance
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.
Gruevski is the leader of conservative party VMRO-DPMNE. After VMRO-DPMNE was defeated in the Macedonian parliamentary election, 2002, 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.
The VMRO-DPMNE won the Macedonian parliamentary election, 2006. 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.
In June 2007 Gruevski attended a meeting in Tirana, Albania along with U.S President George W. Bush, President of the United States, Sali Berisha, Prime Minister of Albania and Ivo Sanader, Prime Minister of Croatia.
On 1 June 2008, the coalition led by his party VMRO-DPMNE won Macedonian parliamentary election, 2008, their second electoral victory in a row, winning more than half of the seats in the parliament. 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 Democratic Union for Integration.
On 5 June 2011, the coalition led by his party VMRO-DPMNE won the Macedonian parliamentary election, 2011, 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.
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