On 21 May, a report from OCCRP says that, despite repeated warnings, the Macedonian government has done little to stop what experts say is a growing flood of dirty oil from entering the country, with schools, hospitals, and government bodies across North Macedonia have been burning dirty oil in their heating systems. The main company said to be involved was helped by a powerful Macedonian politician and businessman, Koco Angjusev. The report says that an increasing amount of dirty fuel from the EU are ending up in the Western Balkans due to weak regulations and poor enforcement. It is said that a senior customs official, who asked not to be named out of fear of losing his job, told the investigation that “powerful people” facilitated the trade in dirty oil, though he declined to name names. The report also says that the Balkans’ bad oil problem is much bigger than that involving the companies it names, with air pollution the single largest environmental health risk in Europe, killing around 400,000 people a year, with Western Balkan countries as the worst offenders.
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