Half a million Euros for five years: Changes in the mayors’ property over the years

  • SCOOP analysis shows that properties of the City of Skopje mayors vary from year to year.
  • Since the first state function until the current mayor position, they have bought apartments, new cars and taken loans.
  • Over five years the Mayor of the City of Skopje, Petre Shilegov, has become richer for 417 thousand Euros.

Authors: Angela Rajchevska and Bjanka Stankovikj

The Mayor of the City of Skopje, Petre Shilegov, has his property for five years increased with items worth almost half a million Euros. According to the SCOOP research under the PEP project, when Shilegov became MP in 2014 he declared assets to the State Commission for the Prevention of Corruption (SCPC) totaling 914,857 Euros. Today that property, according to data from the SCPC website, is worth 1,332,115 Euros, which means it has increased by 417,000 Euros.

Shilegov has been the Mayor of the City of Skopje, one of the richest municipalities in the country, since the October 2017 elections. He is one of the key figures in the Social Democratic Union of Macedonia (SDSM), the party that came to power in 2016.

According to these data, Shilegov was on average getting richer by 83,000 Euros a year. The documents show that the whole difference is worth the items belonging to his wife, of which only three apartments in Skopje cost 208,380 Euros. The remaining 200,000 Euros relate to loans, leasing, and debt. The new items include a house in Mavrovo valued at 55,000 Euros, which the public found out about through information from web portals that said Shilegov had used the tiles for the Mavrovo villa. He denied this information.

The house was reported in May 2018, when Shilegov informed the SCPC that he had repaid the 2,400 Euros loan. SCOOP SCOOP announced that in 2018 he reported a non-cash investment of 2,400 Euros and a founding capital/equity of 5,040 Euros. In 2019 Shilegov reported a decrease in mutual funds of 48,000 Euros and a debt of 30,000 Euros. The mayor also repaid the 13,000 Euros loan, reducing the existing loan from 55,000 Euros to 36,000 Euros.

In 2013, just a year before he was elected MP, Shilegov was considered one of the richest lawyers. According to SCOOP research on the lawyers’ properties, that year the incumbent mayor was among the top three paid lawyers in the country, reporting a profit of nearly 300,000 Euros. When he became an MP, Shilegov said he had put his lawyer’s career in the background. Although he earned a lot more money as a lawyer, he said he had decided to become an MP because he wanted to fight the then VMRO-DPMNE government. But in 2015 Shilegov received a notice from the SCPC that he could not be a lawmaker and manager of his own law firm at the same time, as there was a conflict of interest.

What changes have been made in the properties of the mayors of the municipalities in the City of Skopje?

Stefan Bogoev became a Member of Parliament in 2014 and then declared his first assets, totaling 507,967 Euros. He left the parliament in 2017 and ran for the local elections. He won the first round and became the mayor of the municipality. Bogoev’s current assets, according to SCPC documents, differ from the previous one that he reported as an MP and is lower by about 360,000 Euros. It is valued at 141,346 Euros, with the items belonging to his parents being removed. SCOOP has written about the changes Bogoev reported. In April 2019, Bogoev reported a change in his assets, stating that he had purchased a new apartment. According to his statement, it was about the money he received as a wedding gift from the guests present. He also said that they had two loans – of 50,000 Euros and of 9,000 Euros – and they had a credit card of about 1,600 Euros.

Kurto Dudush was also part of the SDSM MPs composition in 2016. As an MP Dudush reported to the SCPC a property valued at 109,000 Euros. A year later he ran for mayor and received more votes than Elvis Bajram. His property now is not much different, i.e. only for one item. A car that has been removed from the property list and because of it, the value of the property is reduced, that is, it is worth 100,000 Euros.

Eternal mayors

Three of the Skopje’s mayors have been used to sitting in the mayor’s chair for years. Jovan Pejkovski, Zika Stojanovski and Borce Mitevski have been mayors for the third or fourth time in the same municipalities. Throughout their terms of office the comfort zone has allowed them to make changes to their properties.

Borce Mitevski became mayor of the Municipality of Petrovec for the first time in 2009 with property of 36,423 Euros. In 2013 he was given another chance and thus got a second term. The new mandate also renewed his property, which this time was 168,130 Euros. The people of Petrovec did not change their minds, so in 2017 they voted for him again. But this time Mitevski’s property has undergone minor changes and the value of the property is reduced to 125,203 Euros.

Jovan Pejkovski has been mayor of Chucher Sandevo since 2009 and currently serves the municipality for the third time. With the first step in this post, Pejkovski had property worth 821.950 Euros. Ten years later, the items decreased, and so did the value. The property list is now valued at 333,333 Euros.

During the reign of the two largest parties, VMRO-DPMNE and SDSM, the citizens of Ilinden voted for Zika Stojanovski for the fourth time. He has been the mayor of this municipality since 2005 and his property has undergone minimal changes. According to SCPC data, Stojanovski reported property worth 97,027 Euros in 2009, and in 2019 property worth 99,555 Euros.

From other government offices to the mayor’s seat

The incumbent mayor of Gazi Baba, former councilor in the same municipality, Boris Georgievski became a councilor in 2010. In the SCPC he reported a single-vehicle Lada Samara, which was then estimated at 1,500 Euros. Today, Georgievski as mayor owns property worth 307,000 Euros. Lada Samara has “turned” into Opel Zafira, and part of the property belongs to his parents, consisting of an apartment, land, a house, a meadow, vineyard and forest. Georgievski reported for a lease, a loan and an apartment in Skopje belonging to him.

Blerim Bexheti is a politician who has changed several state functions in his work experience. From 2002 to 2005 he worked in the Ministry of Justice, and the following year he became a Member of Parliament, until 2009. The same year he resigned from this post and became mayor of the municipality of Saraj. He ran the municipality until 2011 and then reported property worth 142,401 Euros. In 2011 he was elected Minister of Justice until 2014. In 2017 he was re-elected mayor of Saraj. His property is now valued at 98,773 Euros.

The public became familiar with Sasha Bogdanovic in 2013, when he became director of Parking of Municipality of Centar. As then director he reported property worth 230,650 Euros. In 2017 he won the local elections and became the mayor of the same municipality. In 2019 his property is estimated at 40,000 Euros more, or 277,848 Euros.

Zlatko Marin is a former member of the Council in the Municipality of Aerodrom since 2009 and a current mayor in the same premises. Ten years ago he reported property of 117.424 Euros. According to the SCPC’s data, as a current mayor his property is worth 137,236 Euros.