German MP who Lobbied for North Macedonia’s Ousted Regime Resigns
Tobias Zech, a legislator from the centre-right Christian Social Union, CSU, the ruling party in Bavaria and sister party to Chancellor Angela Merkel's CDU, has quit after Germany's Spiegel revealed that he lobbied for Nikola Gruevski's ousted authoritarian regime in North Macedonia in 2016.
Just one day after the German magazine published an investigation revealing that the then ruling party in North Macedonia paid him some 50,000 euros for consultancy services, Zech tendered his resignation from the Bundestag on Thursday.
The magazine said his services explained why, in September and November 2016, when the political crisis in North Macedonia was in full swing, Gruevski was able to parade at political visits to Berlin.
Many were startled by Gruevski's visits to Germany, aimed at boosting his crumbling image, as Berlin and other Western governments were by then very critical of regime that was accused over various corruption scandals, misuse of office as well as for masterminding a huge illegal wiretapping scheme.
In Berlin and later in Munich in 2016, Gruevski met the then German Minister for Economic Cooperation, Gerd Müller, the current Interior Minister, Horst Seehofer, as well as other high-ranking politicians, all members of the CSU.
In November 2016, Zech appeared at an election rally of Gruevski's VMRO DPMNE party when he told the audience that if they voted for the party, they would be voting "for the future of Macedonia".
According to Spiegel, in April 2016, Zech co-founded a consulting company, Scaliger Strategy Consulting, with another partner. Only months later, he had a PR consulting agreement with the then ruling party in North Macedonia and 50,000 euros on his account.