West Questions Macedonian Government's Commitment to Democracy

Western powers on Monday questioned the Macedonian government's commitment to democracy and European values over its failure to address allegations of abuse of power, piling pressure on leader Nikola Gruevski following a weekend of bloodshed.
The unusually strong rebuke follows months of damaging opposition disclosures from taped conversations involving Gruevski and his closest allies that the West says raise serious questions about the state of democracy in the ex-Yugoslav republic.
Gruevski's government on Saturday ordered a police operation at dawn against what it called ethnic Albanian "terrorists" in the northern, ethnically-mixed town of Kumanovo, triggering a gun battle in which eight police and 14 alleged gunmen died.