There was just a minor improvement, thus Macedonia took place 64 (of 175 countries) in the Transparency International’s Corruption Perception Index 2014. Its score rose (from 44 in 2013) to 45. In many areas corruption is prevalent and poses a serious problem. One of those is judiciary. Another one is politics. Financing of political activities is insufficiently transparent. Employment or promotion in public sector is largely burdened with nepotism, corruption or political cronyism. Although there is a sizeable private sector, even in it political parties often influence hiring, firing or investments. In October 2014, EU suggested Macedonia (“FYRoM”) more continuity and endurance in anti-corruption struggle, more building on past experiences, more strategic planning, prioritizing
political or other high level corruption and elimination of selective enforcement of the existing anti-corruption laws. However, events in the first half of 2015, like a political earthquake, have changed the “business-as-usual” approach by many people to the issue - and to the root causes - of corruption in Macedonia. Namely, secret tapes were revealed by the main opposition party SDSM, alleging that the PM Gruevski and his aides, together with secret services, wire-tapped more than 20.000 citizens and that they were receiving bribes from foreign investors to Macedonia or were involved in other huge corruption. The ruling VMRO-DPMNE party responded by releasing material that alleged corruption by the SDSM leader Zaev during his Mayor-ship in Strumica. Mass protests in the streets against or pro-government followed, dangerously polarizing the country. The cold war between the two political blocks continues, while EU has managed to facilitate their agreement at least on the timeline of early elections, in April 2016. At those, corruption will certainly be among the main issues.