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Last Updated: Friday, 27 February, 2004, 16:33 GMT
Press eulogy for Trajkovski
Ethnic Albanian man reads Macedonian newspaper
Macedonian papers reacted with shock and sorrow

Balkan papers have been mourning the death of Macedonian President Boris Trajkovski in Thursday's plane crash over Bosnia-Hercegovina.

Shock and a sense of tragic loss pervade the headlines, with many papers pointing to the irony that this should happen on what was to have been a great day for the nation.

In a special edition brought out on Thursday, Utrinski Vesnik focuses on the suspended ceremony of Macedonia's EU membership application in Ireland.

"Macedonia is in shock," it says.

He was fully devoted to his work, he approached every political move most honestly and passionately
Vreme
"This day which should have marked a celebration for the future of Macedonia which was due to submit its application for EU membership turned into a tragedy".

Another article on Friday's edition mentioned the reaction in parliament.

"A deadly atmosphere was felt in the state parliament, deputies were clearly moved, they reacted emotionally and some could not hide their tears," the paper says.

"A statesman who listened to the people's pulse," is how the Macedonian daily Vreme describes Mr Trajkovski.

"He was fully devoted to his work, he approached every political move most honestly and passionately," the article says.

'Good man'

Dnevnik quotes MP Slobodan Casule as blaming the crash on the poor condition of the aircraft.

The paper cites a report from the Macedonian Information Centre suggesting that the Beechcraft King Air plane was several times at the brink of crashing.

This is the fate of presidents in Macedonia - they either are targets of assignation attempts with the assassins never caught, or they fly on broken airplanes
Ethnic Albanian newspaper Fakti
It also reprints an article from earlier this year on incidents involving government planes.

Meanwhile Albanian-language newspapers in the region recognised that Mr Trajkovski's achievement of bringing peace between the country's ethnic groups would not die with him.

"Albanians in Macedonia will feel sorry for the death of Boris Trajkovski, but it is hard to believe that they will see his death as a loss for their aspirations," says the Kosovo paper Koha Ditore.

"He was a good man, but this is the fate of presidents in Macedonia - they either are targets of assignation attempts with the assassins never caught, or they fly on broken airplanes," says the Macedonian Albanian Fakti .

'Dream cut short'

Reaction is no less intense in other former Yugoslav states.

A commentary in the Croatian paper Novi List describes Mr Trajkovski as "a modern statesman who has brought Macedonia closer to Europe".

Serbia's Ekspres describes Mr Trajkovski as "a great man and a moderate politician with a pronounced pro-European orientation".

Borba adds: "His dream of joining Europe was brutally cut short."

The sombre mood is also present in Slovenia's papers.

Vecerspeaks of an "unlucky Macedonia", which once again faces an "uncertain political future".

While Macedonia was not completely stable under Boris Trajkovski, it was more or less peaceful, it adds.

"No-one knows how it will be tomorrow," Vecer adds.

BBC Monitoring, based in Caversham in southern England, selects and translates information from radio, television, press, news agencies and the Internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages.




SEE ALSO:
Profile: Boris Trajkovski
26 Feb 04  |  Europe
Tributes to Macedonian president
26 Feb 04  |  Europe
Timeline: Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia
26 Feb 04  |  Country profiles
Macedonia leader's plane 'found'
27 Feb 04  |  Europe


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