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Goshev Elected as New Governor of National Bank

May 22, 2004

( Research Service)- On Friday the Macedonian Parliament elected Petar Goshev to be the new governor of the country’s National Bank. The ill-attended session saw a total of 56 votes in favor and 6 against.

A former minister of finance from November 1, 2002 to November 5, 2003, Goshev was dismissed prematurely out of impatience at the slowness of his ministry’s reforms. Goshev took a fair amount of criticism for the SDSM-led government’s failure to improve Macedonia’s economic situation. Many wondered why Hari Kostov, a former president of Commercial Bank, had been made interior minister instead of finance minister. Kostov has now been appointed to the position of prime minister following SDSM party chief Branko Crvenkovski’s elevation to president.

Nevertheless, the shake-ups apparently required a reward for Goshev too, as he has been a longtime supporter of Crvenkovski. This old-guard politician has had a long career in Macedonian and before that, Yugoslav politics, says the Macedonian daily “Vest.”

The 55 year-old Goshev has two degrees in economics, and served as a union leader in various capacities from 1973 to 1986. From 1986 to 1991 he served as president of the Central Committee of the Communist Party in Macedonia, and was a Yugoslav parliamentarian. He continued this role when the country won independence, from 1991 to 1994 and again from 1998 to 2002. Goshev also served as vice prime minister and minister of finance under the SDSM governments, and was also a member to the Council in National Bank.

He will be replacing Dr. Ljube Trpeski, also a professor at Kiril and Metodi University’s Faculty of Economics in Skopje, and expert in monetary finance and banking. Trpeski had been serving as bank governor since May 22nd, 1997.

According to A1 TV, Trpeski finished his last day with a cocktail party. At the party were the current minister of finance, Nikola Popovski, IMF representative Rozvadovski, various members to the council of the National Bank, managers of Stopanska, Commercial, Tutunska, Macedonian and others Banks and many other key figures.

“…During the last few years, we have passed through some very difficult moments, especially in 1999 and 2001. I am very proud because Macedonia is a country in transition and we avoided bank crises,” said the outgoing governor.

Of course, Trpeski didn’t mention various examples of suspect fiscal volatility from his era in office: as A-1 recounts, there were major bankruptcies with the Almako and Export-Import Bank, and the “…scandalous transfer in Macedonian Bank” allegedly involving the former VMRO-DPMNE government. Now, Trpeski plans to get back in touch with his professorial self and even write up his memoirs.

Goshev’s seven-year appointment that passed on Friday was opposed by the VMRO-DPMNE. According to news daily “Vreme,” a 2-hour parliamentary debate saw the opposition accuse the governing coalition of appointing an unskilled governor solely for the purpose of stabilizing the party.

“…He [Goshev] was dismissed after one year [in the finance ministry] because he was shown to be inhibiting economic reforms. If he was no good as a minister, then how can he be good as a governor?” said Zarko Karadzovski, a VMRO parliamentarian.

Marija Kojzekliska, also from VMRO, brought up the interesting question of why the government waited until the expiration of Trpeski’s term to hurriedly appoint a new governor. She also stated her doubts that Goshev’s theoretical skills necessarily meant he would be “good in practice,” the newspaper added.

Zoran Krstevski from the opposition Liberal Party was more conciliatory, however. He said that while Goshev’s appointment was not procedurally correct because the opposition hadn’t been consulted, he was nevertheless competent enough for the job and conceded that, “…politically speaking, he is a person who can’t be ignored.”

SDSM backers defended Goshev, citing his knowledge and long experience. According to the party’s Esad Rahic, the new governor is “…a person of great experience, a qualified and able politician.” Making an oblique reference to predecessor Trpeski’s legacy, Rahic added, “…I know that in his mandate will not be affairs like “Almako’ and “Export-Import” or Macedonian Bank.”

As for Goshev, he reaffirmed his own self-belief for “Utrinski Vesnik,” asserting “…never in my life have I done any job I didn’t feel I was capable of doing.”


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