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North Macedonia declares 30-day state of emergency over energy crisis

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The government declared a 30-day energy crisis on Tuesday.
The government declared a 30-day energy crisis on Tuesday.   -   Copyright  AP Photo/Michael Probst, File

North Macedonia has declared a 30-day state of emergency over fuel and electricity shortages.

The government said on Tuesday that it would provide emergency funding for state energy suppliers to import enough supplies for production plants to cover the country’s power needs.

Economy Minister Kreshik Bekteshi said the decision was due to "reduced domestic production capacities" and a global increase in electricity prices.

The government would provide €65 million to the MEPSO electricity company and two other enterprises to pay for electricity, coal, and oil imports, he said.

Bekteshi also promised that "there will be no restrictive measures." But authorities have warned that there may be an electricity bill increase for domestic consumers in January.

MEPSO's director Kustrim Ramadani had recently warned that North Macedonia faced an energy crisis because it "consumes twice as much as it produces".

The small Balkan country produces about 88% of its electricity from domestic sources, mostly through coal-fired plants. More than 97% of total coal consumption is used to generate electricity.

Authorities have recently opened tenders for the urgent import of 1.2 million tons of coal needed for North Macedonia’s power plants.