Macedonia to celebrate EU visa scrapping

21:26, December 18, 2009      

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Macedonia is planning a big night out to celebrate the scrapping of visas for its citizen traveling to the European Union, which officially kicks in at midnight Friday.

Friday night has been declared a "White Night", which means that all clubs and bars in the capital city of Skopje will stay open until early morning.

One of the pioneers of electronic dance music, British performer Fatboy Slim, will perform at the main square in Skopje to celebrate the long-awaited end to visas.

A state-sponsored lottery was held on Thursday evening to pick 100 lucky Macedonians to travel to the French capital of Paris to mark the occasion.

Deputy Prime Minister in charge of EU Integration Vasko Naumovski and Interior Minister Gordana Jankulovska will accompany the lucky winners.

The European Union recently decided to lift the visa obligations for the three Balkan states, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro.

People from the three nations will be entitled to visa-free travel to 25 members of the 27-nation EU bloc, Britain and Ireland being the two exceptions.

They will also travel freely to Norway, Switzerland and Iceland, which are not part of the European Union but apply the same visa regime.

The visa wall for most of the Balkans was introduced in the early 1990s during the bloody breakup of the former Yugoslavia, of which Macedonia was a part.

The visa lifting is seen as a step towards eventual full membership for these three countries into the EU.

Source: Xinhua
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